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Bobcats getting it done with D

PER Diem: Jan. 13, 2010

Updated: January 13, 2010, 1:20 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

The phrase "defense wins championships" is both overused and difficult to prove empirically. But it seems to be true, at least when it comes to the 2009-10 season; the four teams generally considered to be the main threats to win the title (L.A., Boston, Orlando and Cleveland) all rank in the top five in defensive efficiency.

Each team, though, has a different means of reaching those heights. The Cavs and Magic, for instance, take away second shots, as evidenced by the fact that they're ranked first and second, respectively, in defensive rebound rate. The Lakers eliminate easy points; L.A. ranks first in 3-point defense and third in fewest opponent field goal attempts per free throw attempt, and as a result, leads the league in opponent true shooting percentage. Boston's pressure forces mistakes and bad shots, with the Celtics third in opponent turnover rate and fourth in opponent true shooting percentage.

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