<
>

Department of Interior

Just how good has the Celtics' interior defense been the past two games? Our friends at ESPN Stats and Information help us dig deeper into the numbers.

Lane closure

After struggling to contain the Lakers' front court in the first half of Thursday's win, the Celtics' big men came to play Friday against Portland.

The Blazers revamped front line featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby was unable to score inside against the Celtics' big men. The Blazers connected on just 8 of 21 attempts for 16 points within eight feet of the basket. Boston struggled a bit to slow the Lakers in the first half of Thursday's win. (A comparison of numbers from the back-to-back in table at right.)

The Celtics' interior defense has been fantastic much of the season, limiting opponents to 56.6 percent near the rim, which ranked third in the NBA coming into Friday's game.

Perk's a Beast

After missing time in the first half due to foul trouble, Kendrick Perkins returned to dominate in the second haf.

Those numbers against LA are slightly deceiving as Perkins spent much of the first half on the bench due to foul trouble, allowing Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum perform much of their damage in his absence. Perkins helped the Celtics clamp down in the second half. (Check out the numbers comparison at right).