The Ever-Growing Need for Rebounding from the Celtics Bigs
The Celtics were once again heavily outrebounded on Wednesday night by the same Chicago Bulls team that killed them on the glass last week. The lack of rebounding from the C’s frontcourt has been a glaring problem through the first four games and has been a problem that has plagued the team since the days of Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. Boston currently stands at 22nd in the league in overall rebounding, behind the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. So how is a team with an all star power forward who is known for being a double digit rebounder in Al Horford and a defensive center in Amir Johnson having to rely on players such as Avery Bradley to lead the team in rebounding?
Bradley is leading the C’s in rebounding with 8.7 boards per contest. The next closest Celtic? Jae Crowder with 6.7. Now while it is still early on in the season and a small sample size should not be taken for more than what it is worth, the Celtics really have not played against the best bigs the league has to offer yet. In their four games thus far, Horford and Johnson have had to compete with the likes of the Lopez brothers, Marvin Williams, Roy Hibbert, Trevor Booker, and Taj Gibson. Pretty mediocre to say the least right?
This next week’s worth of games will be a true test of the Celtics’ grit and Brad Stevens focusing on rebounding after being punished these first few games, as the C’s will be taking on two of the league’s most relentless rebounders in it’s next two games in Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson and the Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried. So what exactly is the solution to Boston’s rebounding woes? I believe the answer has been right in front of Brad Stevens since the start of last season. I believe it is time to free Jordan Mickey.
Jordan Mickey has been bouncing back and forth from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League and the Celtics roster since he was drafted last June and has shown some bright spots for the C’s in limited action both last season and early this year. Mickey possesses something that the rest of the C’s bigs seem to be lacking: the drive to go into the paint and flat out battle with anyone who is in his way. He has the size and the drive to want to get it done, and I’m sure he has been itching to get off the C’s bench for some time now. Brad Stevens undoubtedly has seen this too and I would not be surprised to see Mickey’s minutes increase, especially with the lack of frontcourt depth with the absence of Kelly Olynyk.
The Celtics have had a rebounding problem for a while and unfortunately have not pulled the trigger on any deals to acquire an elite rebounder. This problem will continue to plague the team as the year progresses and they begin to play better bigs than they have in the first two weeks of the season. But have no fear Celtics fans! If there is anyone who can figure out how to solve this problem with the team that we have, it is Brad Stevens.
Written by: Jarrott Brown (Twitter: @jarrott_brown)
Bulls @ Celtics Highlights 02/11/16
Who would you like to see step up most now that Horford and Crowder are out?
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