BOSTON When the Boston Celtics return to the court next week, they will look to rebound - literally - from a disappointing 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
It was a game in which the C's struggled mightily in every imaginable phase of the game, which included them tying a franchise-low with 25 points in the first half.
But it was their inability to keep the Pacers (5-2) off the offensive boards that, maybe more than anything else, led to their four-game winning streak coming to an end.
Indiana enjoyed a 47-36 rebounding advantage which factored heavily into their 19-5 advantage in second-chance points.
"There were a lot of shots being missed by both teams," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "That means there's going to be a lot of offensive rebound opportunities. The difference was they had seven more (offensive rebounds) than us when you get straight down to it."
Kevin Garnett played nearly 34 minutes, and finished with six rebounds - zero on the offensive boards.
"It's always on the bigs to rebound, obviously," Garnett said. "It starts with the bigs, myself included. We have to do a better job, I know I have to."
And while the Boston big men certainly were a factor in the team's rebounding woes, the C's guards played a prominent role as well.
Indiana's dribble penetration forced Boston's big men to help out defensively. Once the Pacers put up shots, the Celtics guard didn't do a good job of putting a body on Indiana's big men, which allowed them to get several second and third-shot opportunities.
Rajon Rondo had five rebounds - that was more than any other Celtics guard - but he too acknowledged that the C's guards had to do a better job of helping out on the boards.
"It's not on the bigs; it's all five of us out there," Rondo said. "We didn't do a good job boxing out. Guards getting beat off the dribble; our bigs were stepping up. And when they shot the ball, our bigs were off their bodies. It's no excuses. We just played really bad tonight; it showed."