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Can the Boston Celtics’ defense save their contention aspirations?

After coming out strong defensively to win Game 4 of the 2023 East finals, the Boston Celtics did the same thing in Game 5 at TD Garden to beat the Miami Heat 110-97, forcing a Game 6 in Miami.

Last season, the Celtics had an elite, league-leading defense that carried them all the way to the 2022 NBA Finals, making up for their offensive deficiencies. This season, it was the opposite, with hot 3-point shooting making up for lack of effort on defense, and soon enough the team lost that defensive identity. With their backs against the wall, it seems like the Celtics have rediscovered their defensive edge and intensity, forcing turnovers and getting out in transition to create easy looks and keep the Heat on their heels.

Bobby Manning of the CLNS Media “Garden Report” podcast recently weighed in on the Celtics’ defense after Game 5 onsite at TD Garden.

Take a look at the clip embedded above to see how he feels about Boston’s defense being an unexpected x-factor in some circles.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

YouTube: https://bit.ly/3F9DvjQ

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire