14 games in, rebounding is Celtics' Achilles heel
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Fourteen games into the season, the Celtics remain very much a work in progress and there's one area in particular that must improve if the C's want a realistic shot at winning banner 18.
If this season tells you anything, it's that the Celtics are struggling with rebounding -- sitting in last place in the NBA.
“Historically, just go back and look at the numbers, defensive rebound teams win. The offensive rebounding teams usually are the last place teams,” said Doc River, Celtics head coach.
Most NBA teams make only 40 percent of their shots leaving 60 percent for either team to get the rebound. It’s simple math, but a tough problem for the Celtics to solve.
“Sometimes it definitely comes down to just heart,” said Jared Sullinger, Celtics forward. “Half of the time it’s just technique.”
“I think it’s good to happen now rather than later so this is the time we need to fix,” Leandro Barbosa, Celtics guard.
While the Celtics continue to struggle rebounding, the answer lies before the shot is even taken.
“When you play defense everything comes automatic,” said Barbosa.
“The better our defense is, the better we rebound. There’s no tricks to it. Keep the ball out of the paint, we’re a better rebounding team,” said Rivers.
And for this Celtics team to match their longest winning streak this season, winning the rebound battle only three times this season won't cut it.
“Rebounding will be the key to the game tomorrow. As long as we do that, I think we have a good chance of winning,” Sullinger said.