Celtics defensive credit goes to Tom ThibodeauPosted by Inside Hoops
The Boston Globe (Christopher L. Gasper) reports: When Kevin Garnett was recognized as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, Celtics coach Doc Rivers commented that Garnett had changed the team’s culture when it came to defense. The same can be said of Tom Thibodeau. The first-year assistant coach and former Salem State player is the Celtics’ defensive coordinator and the man charged with molding a plan that will help them slow down league MVP Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Rivers hired Thibodeau last summer as associate head coach and promptly turned over control of the defense to the longtime NBA assistant. And Thibodeau transformed the Celtics into the best defensive team in the league. During the regular season, Boston led the league in fewest points allowed per game (90.1), field goal percentage allowed (41.9), and 3-point field goal percentage allowed (31.6). Last season, Boston ranked 24th in field goal percentage allowed (46.8), 18th in points allowed (99.2), and allowed opponents to shoot 35 percent from beyond the arc.