Tough defense & rebounding produce win streaks for Celtics
The Boston Celtics rank first in Defensive Rating and seventh in rebounding. They have improved their rebounding over last season when they were ranked 26th in the NBA. Apparently, the combination of tough defense and improved rebounding have yielded some winning streaks.
54th straight win when holding a team under 99 points. 22nd straight win when not getting outrebounded.
Only 3.4 rebounds per game separate Boston from the League leader in that category, the Philadelphia 76'ers. The boards are well-shared among nine Celtics, but the players with the highest rebound rates, rebounds/minute, are Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis. They each grab almost one rebound for every three minutes on the court. Terry Rozier averages 4.6 boards/game, a healthy number from the guard position.
Aron is ranked first in the NBA in Defensive Rating while Terry is ranked sixth. Couple the rebounding with the tough defense, and an argument could be made for more minutes for both. My feeling is that Boston can lead the League in both categories. Shooting accuracy can abandon even the best sharpshooters, but defense and rebounding are mostly hard work and dedication to the task and can bring a team back from large point deficits and win games. Put that defense and rebounding together with the Celtics incredible, second-ranked, Clutch Time field goal percentage of 55.7%, and good things should happen.