Over the past eight games the Boston Celtics have been on a roll. The offensive flow has been great, players are getting healthy, the dominant defense has returned, and players are beginning to learn their role for the season. The one problem that has started to become a consistent problem is rebounding. The Celtics are not doing what they need to do to get rebounds. They are not boxing out and they are giving up on plays early allowing teams to get easy offensive rebounds and easy baskets.
Tonight the Celtics again got out rebounded, this time by the Bucks by a margin of 44-35. The problem the Celtics had tonight was that they let guys like Bogut get their position for easy offensive rebounds. The Bucks had 14 offensive rebounds tonight compared to the Celtics 5. This is starting to become an issue the team is worrying about. Doc Rivers had the following to say following tonight’s victory, via Boston Globe:
“They got every loose ball, they got every long rebound. And they scored more off the secondary action than the offense. That’s just awareness, quickness, but again it’s the physicality that we have to get to. I thought there was the one stretch in the fourth quarter where you could physically see bodies on bodies. And we got all the rebounds. And we’ve just got to get better at it. We’ve always been a good rebounding team over the last couple years and right now we’re not. It’s that simple. And we can get away with winning now, but we’re not going to win in the long term if we don’t start rebounding.”
“Bodies on Bodies”. Yes Doc, that is what leads to good rebounding. I thought we learned these type of fundamentals, such as boxing out, at a very young age. But then again, maybe these guys had to much talent at that age to worry about fundamentals. Paul Pierce also had a take on the rebounding situation, Pierce thought this problem was happening not because of the bigs, but because of the guards.
“It starts with all five guys and our bigs are really doing a great job, putting bodies on men,” said Pierce. “It’s a problem with the guards, we have to do a better job at coming back and helping the bigs especially on long rebounds. That is where we get beat the most, on the long rebound issue. Between me Ray and Rondo we have to do a better job at that.”
Rondo is the one who sticks out in my mind the most when it comes to not coming back to get rebounds. Rondo is so up-tempo that he is constantly ready to head the other direction, I think it is his natural instinct to see a shot go up and start thinking about pushing it the other way. This is one of the things that Rondo will need to continue to work on as he develop into one of the NBA’s greatest point guards.
All of this stuff sounds good from Doc and Paul, I’m just waiting to see it happen on the court. We still can’t expect the Celtics to be perfect at this point in the season. Afterall, the ultimate goal is being in tip top shape as we near the goal of banner 18.