The Celtics are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and they faced a good rebounding team last night and beat them on the boards.
I know this is going to come as a shock to many of you, but in most circles the Celtics have a reputation for not being a very good rebounding team. Being ranked last in rebounding will typically perpetuate that sentiment.
Sarcasm aside, the Celtics were facing a team ranked 4th in rebounding and featuring one of the best rebounders in the league in Kevin Love. So Doc made a point of challenging his team and drilling them on the glass. It seems to have worked.
The Celtics finally stood up to a bigger and more physical team, fighting the mammoth duo of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic for loose balls they had been accustomed to relinquishing. They outrebounded Minnesota, 45-41. "Well, we have to be that way every night," forward Paul Pierce said. "You know we’re challenged rebound-wise, and a majority of these games we haven’t rebounded well, so that’s mainly what the last couple days of practice have been is to put bodies on people, go after rebounds, box out, those little things that are going to help us win games."
"I think what you see here is that we as a team are trying to be better at rebounding," Garnett said. "Doc’s been on our [butt] about giving up offensive rebounds, playing tougher, establishing something. Obviously, being called soft is not something that you want to be called. It still lives in the back of our minds. Still a work in progress."
Garnett obviously got "up" for this game like he usually does against his former team but he can't do it all alone. Last night Bass and Sullinger had 8 and 7 boards while Wilcox and Jason Terry (of all people) added 5 apiece as well. Jeff Green even added 4 of his own boards (his career average is 5.4 but he's only grabbing 2.8 this year in part due to playing fewer minutes than he did in OKC - he's also playing less power forward these days, which is a good thing).
Happy to hear that rebounding is being emphasized and progress is being made. Now to see if they can be consistently good on the glass...