Whenever the topic turns to NBA basketball and I’m asked what I think wins championships, I always answer: Elite, sustained defense. You win a game if you have more points than your opponent does when time expires, duh. But some people forget there are two ways to do that, score more points on offense is one; limit the points your opponent scores to fewer than what you scored is the other. You do that latter with elite defensive plays.

I submit the following into evidence. Game 5, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics. That is pure poetry, Mr Jrue Holiday, pure poetry. Aka elite defense. Not to mention the save immediately following this block, itself another example of elite, presence-of-mind defense

Jrue Holiday’s clean block on Marcus Smart in the wee seconds of game 5 to keep the lead for Milwaukee. Because sans that block the shot surely would have been made.

And as if that wasn’t brilliant enough, mere seconds later Mr. Holiday does it again, to once and for all cinch the victory for Milwaukee. These two defensive plays (arguably three) by the same player back to back will surely be entered into the NBA annals of legendary, game-deciding plays.

With mere seconds to play Jrue Holiday steals the ball from an unsuspecting Marcus Smart, again foiling what might have been a game-tying 3-pt shot.

Fear The Deer!