NBA scout details how to break down the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics ended the regular season with the second best defensive rating in the NBA. They illustrated their defensive dominance in game one of their playoff series against the Miami Heat on Sunday (April 21). Boston’s rearguard has been exceptional this season following the additions of Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis during the offseason.

According to an NBA Scout who spoke with Jared Weiss and Jay King of The Athletic, the Celtics defense does have some weaknesses. However, beating Joe Mazzulla’s system requires some creativity in how teams approach their screening actions and the positioning of their players.

“Making their bigs move in pick-and-roll, setting your picks higher up the floor, setting pindown screens to make them follow the action,” The scout said. “You gotta move their size by putting your big in the strong side corner. Or run a spread pick-and-roll and set a pindown on Porzingis so he has to trail the action up to the pick-and-roll. It’s all in your setups and screening angles.”

The Heat don’t have a floor-spacing big man who can sit in the corner and space the low helpline of the defense. They’re also limited in who they can have setting angled screens. That leaves them some spread pick-and-roll (a pick-and-roll action in a five-out offense where no offensive player is in the paint) or running some pin-downs to get shooters open.

Boston has been fantastic when top-locking and denying pin-downs this season. Nevertheless, the Heat will need to get creative if they want to find some success against a Celtics defense that projects to be a major force throughout the postseason.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire