Thanks to the layup drill the Celtics seemed to be running in Sunday's Game 5, it's no shock the focus for Kobe Bryant after the loss was on defense. Rightly so. The Lakers posted a defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) of 105.9, or 1.059 points per possession, a figure above their season average and exceeding Boston's average offensive output as well.
The frightening part? From an efficiency standpoint, L.A. was worse in Game 4, surrendering a hideous 1.091 points per possession. Thus Kobe's defense, defense, defense mantra.
Fair to say everyone got the message.
Tuesday night, in the most critical game to date the Lakers produced their best defensive performance of the season, with a defensive efficiency of 75.3, their stingiest number of the year. To better understand how good that is, keep in mind for much of the season the Lakers led the league in the category, and Game 6 was only the second time this season they held a team in the 70's. It was total dominance.
To get a feel for how it happened, we once again turn to TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz, who breaks down what the Lakers did to once again regain their effectiveness in stopping the Celtics: