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Suns defense and transition game a model for Celtics

 The surprise Phoenix Suns took out the Milwaukee Bucks last night, with the final score 118-105. The Suns' defense forced the Bucks to turn the ball over 13 times, resulting in 20 fast-break points. 



Turnovers were a problem for the Milwaukee Bucks, with eight of them coming in the first half as the Phoenix Suns forced them to cough up the ball with suffocating defense.

Though they trimmed their turnovers down to just six in the second half, the Bucks still allowed the Suns to score often in transition (20 points on fastbreaks).

Deandre Ayton was exceptional in transition for the Phoenix Suns, moving down the lane to receive a pass from teammates and get easy baskets with no bigs in the middle.

Many Celtics fans would love to see this fast-paced style in Boston this coming season. Smothering defense - forced turnovers - quick outlet passes - run and gun - easy hoops. The 2021-22 version of The Green has the tools - the right players.

Granted, the Celtics don't have their own version of Chris Paul. He picked up 32 points and nine assists in the game, and he is just so tough to defend. He is a master facilitator and scores very effectively off the dribble. Devin Booker (27 points, 6 assists) and Deandre Ayton (22 points, 9 rebounds) fill out the Suns' Big 3.

But a potential starting-5 of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Evan Fournier and Al Horford can do what Phoenix did last night. That is the all-wing lineup that I believe Brad Stevens yearned for all along, and now it appears Ime Udoka will be guiding them. Add in a healthy Rob Williams, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith with a touch of Moses Brown in there, and we may see the Celtics off to the races.


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