Dallas Mavericks will get a playoff feel because the Celtics defense is tough to crack
Since the Feb. 10 trade deadline, Boston has a 10-2 record and the best net rating in the NBA at 11.4. They are 3.2 ahead of the second-place Minnesota Timberwolves and 9.5 points up on the Mavericks' 1.9 mark over that stretch.
Boston is second in defensive rating since acquiring Derrick White from the Spurs on deadline day. They are using Robert Williams on the opposition’s weakest scorer, which frees him up to help at the rim. The Celtics have size and the ability to switch. They are one of the best perimeter defensive teams in the league, and their changes on defense have improved their effectiveness.
Luka Doncic is a master at exploiting mismatches on the floor and solving defensive schemes. Does he have the answer for the Celtics? Marcus Smart will be in the 23-year-old superstar’s face from the opening whistle, and Boston will have both Williams and Al Horford looking to provide help in the paint when Doncic drives. Can the Celtics slow Luka down or does the Mavericks star feast on Sunday afternoon?
Doncic will see added attention and every defense under the sun in the playoffs. The Boston Celtics present a difficult challenge on March 13 and will give the Mavericks superstar a postseason preview.