Boston Celtics: Aron Baynes establishing his presence in the paint

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 4: Aron Baynes
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 4: Aron Baynes /

Boston Celtics big man Aron Baynes did his part in slowing down Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons in the team’s 91-81 victory Sunday night.

Aron Baynes was signed by the Boston Celtics for one reason.  That reason was displayed Sunday night at the Motor Center in Detroit as the C’s got some revenge against the Pistons with a 91-81 victory.

The Australian big man threw his muscle around against his former team by grabbing 13 rebounds and limiting Andre Drummond to just six points.   Although the Pistons big man still grabbed 15 rebounds, Baynes really prevented him from being as much of a factor as he was during the first meeting between the two teams.

In that first meeting on Nov. 27, Drummond controlled the paint on the offensive and defensive end of the court.  With 26 points and 22 rebounds, he helped lead Detroit to a 118-110 win at TD Garden.  His dominance in that game led Celtics head coach Brad Stevens looking for an answer and that answer Sunday night was Aron Baynes along with a better all-around defensive effort by the entire team.

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 4: Aron Baynes
BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 4: Aron Baynes /

Part of Stevens’ strategy was to be physical beneath the basket and protect against the lob. Baynes did a great job of remaining discipline and allowing his teammates to put bodies on Drummond in pick-and-roll situations.

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"“A lot of times it was Baynes that obviously was backing up into that,” Stevens said, via the Boston Herald.  “But he was handing the dribble handoffs, so it was other guys behind him stopping the lob.  So they’ve got to make sure, and we talked about, as Drummond rolls, we have to have bodies there.  And then they put you in that issue of then you’re late closing out to (Tobias) Harris or you’re late closing out to (Anthony) Tolliver, which we found ourselves (in) some.  And then you have to make sure that if we need to adjust further we can.”"

Locked in physically

The total team defensive effort was inspired by the presence Aron Baynes established down low.  Like he has down all season, the big man showed no fear in going up against a talent like Drummond.  His physicality took away the many easy inside plays the Pistons took advantage of during the previous matchup between the two teams.

"“We were locked in,” Baynes said following the game.  “Our offense wasn’t as crisp tonight as we wanted it to be, but defensively we had a game plan and we stuck with it.  We were trying to pack the paint and make them make plays from outside.  Last time they really had whatever they wanted inside the paint.  So tonight, we wanted to go out there and try to control and work better.  Five guys working on the strength for most of the night which is always fun to play defense like that.”"

The career-high 13 rebound performance by Baynes further demonstrated how important of a role he has had with the team this season.

Next: Boston Celtics: 3 reasons to love big bangin’ Aron Baynes

Not only has he been the rim protector they have been looking for, he is establishing himself as the enforcer down low that can change the complexion of a game.