Celtics Repair Shop - Rebound the damn ball!
After Boston's 127-113 loss to the Rockets, this is as good a time as any for my second installment of Celtics Repair Shop. The guys in green lost the board battle once again by a large margin, grabbing only 38 to Houston's 54. This is one defect that needs attention pronto. Here are two of our CelticsLife readers comments on the rebounding dilemma.
Ever since noted TV analyst Tommy Gun noted that Kyrie (Irving) looked "fat," he has played like a whirlwind. Guess who led the C's in offensive rebounding against the Sixers. Yep, your favorite clutch shooter, with 4.
So Kyrie is the offensive rebounder on the team? Eh? Did (Al) Horford get any? Has Al forgotten how to shoot? And, regarding the 3-point shooting, there is rarely anyone in the same zip code around the boards for rebounds when a long shot goes up. What is up with that?
However, as long as Kyrie plays out of his mind -- rebounding, defense and, of course, his unbelievable offense -- the C's always have a chance
Asides from too many threes, it's the terrible lack of rebounding fundamentals. It's clear that Stevens embraces a similar system to what Doc had, which is to de-emphasize offensive rebounding in favor of getting back on defense to lessen the other teams' chances of easy transition hoops. Therefore, the Cs rarely get second chance points, and if you go for offensive rebounds, you're likely to have close second-chance shots. The Cs don't do that, ever. They also seem adverse to boxing out. Box out and take the ball to the rack. That's all the Cs have to do consistently to fix their inconsistency.
In their 20 wins, the Celtics average 48.2 rebounds per game. That drops to 42.4 RPG in the 14 losses. Lack of rebounding is certainly not the only fix needed, but it is a basic one. The general rule in any endeavor that is going wrong is to go back to basics. Grabbing errant shots is in that category.
One other point. With respect to offensive boards, the Celtics average 10.9 offensive rebounds in the wins and 10.5 in the losses. The difference shows up in the defensive boards (37.4 in wins, 32.2 in losses). It may be time for Brad Stevens to alter his defensive schemes somewhat to allow his guys to be in position for defensive rebounds. Charles Barkley, in this morning's NBA TV broadcast, said that it may be time for the Celtics to go for a trade. Seems a bit early for that, but some changes need to be made.
Send me your thoughts on repairs needed to get the Celtics consistently on track, and I am already working on the next installment. Thanks for your ideas.
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