BOSTON – It seems to not matter whether teams go big or small against the Boston Celtics, rebounding remains a problem.
The Knicks proved that on Wednesday in handing the Boston Celtics a 117-106 loss which snapped Boston’s season-best seven game winning streak at home.
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In the past, conversations regarding Boston’s rebounding problems centered around them playing against teams that just had more size and muscle in the frontcourt.
That was not the case against the Knicks (19-24) who out-rebounded Boston 57-33 despite playing smaller lineups than most of the Celtics’ past opponents.
“They were small tonight, so it’s not like that should’ve been a big excuse from a size standpoint,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Not that you should ever get out-rebounded by 24. But we weren’t much different; in fact we were bigger for most of the game and we still got … we just got pummeled on the glass.”
When it comes to rebounding with a small lineup, often it’s just a matter of who wants the ball more.
And the Celtics (26-16) had to acknowledge on Wednesday that most of Wednesday night, it was the Knicks.
“They played harder than us, they out-rebounded us, they played more physical than us,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “You’re not going to beat anybody the way they manhandled us.”
Celtics forward Jae Crowder echoed similar sentiments.
“They wanted it more than we did,” Crowder said.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game.
It was very much a hot tub time machine kind of night for Rose, who looked very much like the dominant player who won the league’s MVP award in 2011. Rose led the Knicks with a team-high 30 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter.
While Thomas had yet another strong showing in the fourth quarter, this was one of those nights when he needed more help than usual. That said, he still led all scorers with 39 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.
No player better personified the struggles Boston had on the boards all game, than Hernangomez. He came off the Knicks bench to score 17 points and grab a game-high 11 rebounds – four on the offensive glass.
There were a lot of things to like about Crowder’s play on Wednesday, especially his defense on Carmelo Anthony (13 points, 5-for-14 shooting). But Crowder also delivered on the offensive end, scoring 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting with five rebounds and an assist.
Another unsung hero for New York on Wednesday, he had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting with six rebounds and two assists.
It was a rough night for most of the Celtics, but Brown did provide a bit of lift when he was in the game. He finished with 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting to go with four rebounds and a blocked shot.
This was one of those games that Horford would be wise to forget as soon as he can. He scored a season-low five points and shot just 2-for-14 which was the worst shooting game of his career.