BOSTON The Philadelphia 76ers come into tonight's game against the Boston Celtics looking to rebound -- literally -- from their 92-91 Game 1 loss.
Aside from the scoreboard, there were very few areas in which the C's were the superior team. However, rebounding was one of them.
Boston, the second-to-last worst rebounding team in the NBA during the regular season, finished Game 1 with a 45-41 advantage on the boards.
For all that the Celtics did right in taking their 1-0 series lead, their ability to not just hold their own, but actually win the rebounding battle, was huge.
And it'll be worth keeping an eye on heading into tonight's Game 2 battle.
Disappointment was certainly the mood of choice for Philadelphia following the loss. But this group is far from dejected.
"Our guys feel very confident that if we can play well, we can win," said Sixers coach Doug Collins.
And part of that improvement they are seeking involves doing a better job on the boards.
"This is a Boston team that, we can't let them beat us on the boards. We can't give them the second opportunities, because that's where they get their 3s," Collins added. "I pointed to four or five segments (in Game 1) where they came up with loose balls that they came up with, and missed the 3. Either Ray Allen or Paul Pierce. I said, 'Guys, they're going to make those kind of threes. You gotta come up with those balls."
Meanwhile, the Celtics see plenty of areas in need of improvement in spite of their Game 1 victory.
Boston would love to get off to a better start shooting the ball.
"We came with the right intent and I really thought, and we've done it before, we miss seven-to-eight, point-blank, wide-open shots to start the game, and I thought we started thinking about our offense, you know?" said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I thought that allowed them to up their energy and get into us."