CHICAGO Thursday's 89-80 loss to Chicago was the Boston Celtics' fourth defeat in their last five games.
And with a rugged road schedule ahead, the C's are literally and figuratively trying to rebound right now.
For all that went wrong for the Celtics in the Chicago loss, rebounding was clearly the place in which the game was won and lost.
For Boston (15-14), it validated what, statistically speaking, we've known throughout this season about the Celtics.
The Celtics are a bad rebounding team, evident by them ranking No. 29 (out of 30 teams) in rebounds per game compared to a Chicago team that was ranked No. 2.
Chicago's board dominance was especially noticeable in the second quarter, a quarter in which the C's were outrebounded 19-3.
No. Seriously. They were outrebounded 19-3 in one (the second) quarter.
"The reason they stopped us, was because they controlled the glass," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "It kept us from getting out and running."
And it didn't help that the Bulls consistently work the shot clock until it nearly expires.
"Chicago was using 23 seconds it seemed for every possession," Rivers said. "We knew coming in, it would not be an up-pace game."
Still, the C's needed to have controlled the game's tempo beyond just the first quarter.
"We didn't get the rebounds. That's the key," said Paul Pierce. "In order to get out and run, and get in transition, you gotta get the stops and you gotta get the rebound. We weren't able to do that most of the night."
And that lack of rebounding can snowball into something much worse, like the 12-0 run that Chicago put on the Celtics in the fourth quarter on Thursday.
"We're not reacting well when teams are making runs," saidJermaine O'Neal. "It's almost like we go into panic mode a little bit; trying to get it all back with one or two plays. That's been the difference. We just didn't' respond very well."
But the C's will have other opportunities to make amends for letting yet another game to get away from them.
"There's only one remedy for the ailment, and that's consistency," O'Neal said. "You don't have to digest, you don't have to break it down, you don't have to do anything. If we are consistent in what we do, we'll win. We can beat anybody. If we get off schedule, then we can lose to anybody. "