By: Devonte Brooks | The Celtics are winning and everything now seems like it’s starting to click, and I feel like the biggest reason for this is the play of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee. Bradley’s on-the-ball defense has really made a difference in the Celtics’ overall toughness. And having Lee come off the bench and play good defense of his own is huge. The play of Bradley and Lee definitely takes some of the pressure off of Rajon Rondo. Think about it: Rondo isn’t the greatest pick-and-roll defender, and having Bradley and Lee has really allowed Rondo to do his thing, which is to irritate the opposition on the perimeter
And look at what has happened – the Celtics have managed to win six straight games, and we are starting to slowly sneak our way up the Eastern Conference standings. I’ve noticed the perimeter defense during this winning streak has also helped the offense. It’s allowed us to run the floor more often, and has also helped us to dictate the pace.
ESPN has really focused on this being the year of the veterans in Boston, and while this is true, it’s worth noting that Jared Sullinger has been doing an exceptional job coming off the bench. He is always crashing the boards. That’s been another big key to this six-game winning streak.
And, as Jason Terry has noted, the Celtics’ bench rotation has settled in quite nicely. You have Terry, Sullinger, Lee and Jeff Green playing major roles, and this has allowed Doc Rivers to play his guys in a substitution pattern that maximizes the talent level on the team.
Before the winning streak, I kept reading a lot about trade rumors. There were reports that Rajon Rondo was recruiting Rudy Gay, for example. Now, the rumors aren’t quite as loud. As a fan, I’m curious to see if Danny Ainge makes a trade, especially with the team doing much better now. Whatever happens, I just hope the Celtics keep this winning streak going!