Celtics look to improve offensive rebounding


Celtics look to improve offensive rebounding

MIAMI Every season brings about a different incarnation of Boston Celtics basketball.

But poor rebounding, especially on the offensive boards, has been a constant in recent years.

Based on the team's play in the season opener, that may be about to change.

For all of the late-game gaffes and missteps taken by the Celtics in their 106-104 loss to the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, one of the more glaring positives that they can take from the loss was the job they did on the offensive glass.

Boston, a card-carrying member of the cellar dweller club when it comes to offensive rebounds, snatched 13 offensive rebounds in the loss.

It was a far cry from how this team has fared on the offensive glass in recent years.

The Celtics have been the worst offensive-rebounding team each of the last two seasons, averaging 7.8 last year and 8.7 during the 2009-2010 season.

Under Doc Rivers, the C's have never finished any better than 15th (2006-2007 season) in this category.

Because the Celtics have been so consistently weak in this area, there has been a perception that this is something that Rivers doesn't stress.

Not true, he says.

"We always wanted to do that," Rivers said. "That's been one of the most misunderstood things about us. We've always told our bigs, 'If you're under the basket and we shoot, how about going to get it?' "

The biggest difference is that the Celtics now have players who have not just the ability to offensive rebound, but also the desire.

Brandon Bass understands his role with the C's involves being a factor offensively.

That involves not only scoring when he has the ball, but also creating multiple scoring opportunities for himself and the Celtics.

He did just that on Sunday as he tallied a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds -- five of which were offensive boards.

"I just wanted to come out and contribute in any way I can," Bass said.

As far as his offensive rebounding prowess against the Knicks -- his five offensive boards were just two short of tying his career high -- Bass said, "You have them nights where the ball just goes your way, I guess. I was just trying to help us out, and rebounding was that area."

And that's a change the Celtics would be more than happy to embrace moving forward.