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Can C's better D prop up worse O?

Clippers will provide gauge of whether depleted Boston can stay afloat

Updated: February 2, 2013, 7:20 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

Can a stifling defense make up for an average-at-best offense? That's what the Boston Celtics are trying to find out after losing All-Star point guard and offensive quarterback Rajon Rondo for the season.

Early numbers are encouraging: Over the three games since Rondo was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Boston has posted a defensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of a measly 87.9. The closest team during that span (Washington, surprisingly) is 6½ points worse. The Magic ...

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