For the majority of the first half Tuesday night, the Celtics defended at a high level.

Changing the bulk of screens, Boston disrupted what the fourth-ranked Jazz offense wished to do. The Celtics even asked big guy Robert Williams to switch out onto the boundary and stay in front of guards. He managed the obligation well enough. Smaller Boston gamers took on the difficulty of switching onto Rudy Gobert. It wasn’t an ideal stretch for the Celtics defense, as evidenced by Utah’s offending rebound overalls, however Brad Stevens’ team worked to object to shots and stay in front of drivers.

Boston simply couldn’t sustain the edge. Not in Utah. Not at the end of a five-game journey. Not against the Jazz, the NBA’s most popular team. The Celtics quit 74 points throughout the second half of a 122-108 defeat.

“Not excellent enough to be fantastic for 24 minutes against this team,” Stevens stated.

Stevens has been honest about the …