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The outcome of Monday's contest against the Washington Wizards was no Christmas present for the Celtics. The stellar play of the Washington guards, John Wall and Bradley Beal, was only part of the story. Even though the Celtics held their own on the boards, hauling down 45 to the Wizards' 47, they managed only one rebound (a team rebound - attributed to no single Celtic) in the final six minutes of play.


Jaylen Brown was the leading board man for Boston, collecting nine, while both Al Horford and Terry Rozier had seven. But during the final six minutes of the game, Washington grabbed seven rebounds to only one by Boston.


Announcer Tommy Heinsohn often belitles what he calls high school rebounds, meaning cleaning up errant shots requiring little effort. NBA rebounds involve physical battles of boxing out, fighting for position and often doing what Bill Russell called the most-exhausting part of the game, namely jumping repeatedly for the same errant shot. Boston failed to do that in the Christmas Day game in crunch time, and it is a great lesson.



Brad Stevens quotes in the above tweet break it down. Giving up 10 fourth-quarter points by allowing the opposition to grab offensive rebounds and score is simply lack of effort and focus. Boston has the rebounders, but they just didn't have it this Christmas Day. Not in the final six minutes. Maybe Red Auerbach was right about not having a home game on Christmas.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 12/27/2017 05:04:00 AM Edit
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