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In the Celtics loss last night to the Utah Jazz, 107-95, they pulled down a paltry total of 31 rebounds to Utah's 55. Al Horford and Jaylen Brown each had six boards, while Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving each had four.


A low total rebound count can sometimes be attributed to both teams shooting the lights out, making for fewer available boards. But such a large differential as last night just shows lack of effort. And maybe a bit of fatigue. Here are Kyrie Irvings words following the loss (per ESPN's Chris Forsberg):

It's just you see it as a test. That's all it is. Unwavering belief is what I'm always, always aware of," Irving said. "So as long as I can echo that to our teammates, and our coaching staff echoes it to us, then we'll be fine. It's all part of growing as a team, as a new developing team.

"The way we started and what we're going through now, there's going to be times like this. And this is nothing yet. I guarantee it. It's nothing yet.

With two of Utah's big men, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, out for most of the game with injuries, the Jazz stepped up and had five players with seven or more boards. Ekpe Udoh grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Joe Ingles had eight. Three other Utah players had seven.

So it looks like the Celtics offense has improved, but the defense and rebounding have both taken a major hit. The result is a two-and-three losing record in the past five games. It might be time to refocus on the D-and-boards to get back to winning ways.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 12/16/2017 07:43:00 AM Edit
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