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Rajon Rondo battles for boards, so too should his fellow backcourt mates
The Celtics do not have a true center. In fact, since Kendrick Perkins was traded to Oklahoma City in the deal that brought small forward Jeff Green to Beantown, the C’s have lacked a pure, big-bodied center.
Without a tower in the paint to haul in all opponent misfires, it is hard for Boston to be a top-tier rebounding team. Further, it is harder for them to be a good defensive team because they often cannot convert their stops into possessions of their own.
In fairness, Kevin Garnett has done an admirable job adapting to his new position despite being smaller than most of the true centers he matches up against. However, the Celtics give up too many second-chance possessions while getting very few of their own.
This problem is a little bit more difficult to fix without going out and shopping for a true center. So what can they do?
Although they lack the one-man force in the paint, the Celtics do not have a shortage of athleticism. Guards and small forwards will have to increase their attention to crashing the glass to compensate. Rondo has shown he has a propensity to collect boards; he should emphasize the importance of post-shot activity to his fellow backcourt comrades.
Boston has always been a team committed to being back on defense to prevent transition buckets. This isn’t always possible, especially considering that the NBA is trending toward explosive athletes who can run the floor in just a few strides.
The C’s should devote more effort to fighting for offensive rebounds and trust in itself to still be able to operate in half court defensive sets. Coach Rivers could start by showing the team footage of Zach Randolph’s rebounding technique.