BOSTON – There’s no need to remind Danny Ainge about the struggles Boston has had rebounding the ball this season.
He sees the same thing fans see; more actually.
And that’s why, while concerned about rebounding, it’s not a problem that he didn’t anticipate his squad would have to overcome this season.
“Our team, I knew going into the year that rebounding would be an issue for us,” Ainge told CSNNE.com in an exclusive interview this week. “I still feel like we’re better defensively and better rebounding than we are doing. That is my number one concern.”
The Celtics are coming off a 120-109 win over Houston which is Boston’s most impressive win this season. In that game, they out-rebounded the Rockets 48-30 which raised their record this season to 12-1 when they win the rebounding battle.
“Some games we out-rebound our opponents by 10, other games we get out-rebounded by 20. It’s inconsistency that’s the most concerning,” Ainge said.
Ainge isn’t quite ready (when is he?) to talk about trading for a better rebounder.
Part of that has to do with his belief that the team will continue to improve.
Ainge is probably right, especially when you consider how far back of the pack the Celtics are when it comes to rebounding.
Boston’s rebounding percentage is .478 which ranks 26th in the NBA. And when it comes to their defensive rebounding, the Celtics are dead-last in the league, hauling in just 73.9 percent of their defensive boards.
And those rebounding woes have been part of the problem with the Celtics’ defense, which has allowed 105.8 points per game, 21st in the league.
“I know that when our team plays like we’re capable of playing,” Ainge said, “and we’re healthy that we’re a pretty good team, a team I enjoy watching, a team that has rebounding challenges that we have to overcome.”
That’s exactly what they did in their most recent game.
Now comes the challenge…doing it repeatedly.
“We had a real purpose [against Houston], getting guys off the glass,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “We’re going to have to get, get bodies on people every night, and there’s some nights where we’ll get rebounded over the top. We just can’t get killed, and that’s the bottom line. We just can’t get killed on the glass.”