Everywhere I look, I see stories about how bad the Celtics are at rebounding. But how bad are they, really?
The Celtics are the second worst team when you look at HOW MANY rebounds they grab per game. But the Celtics are OUT-REBOUNDING their opponents 39.0 to 38.7 for the season… good enough for 15th in the league.
What does that tell you?
There aren't as many rebounds to get in a Celtics game. The Celtics have the 3rd highest field goal percentage in the league (48.2%) and they're scoring 98.36 points per game… which is essentially in the middle of the pack. Celtics opponents are only scoring 89.57 points per game while shooting 43.8%. The Celtics are second in the league in steals per game. 12th in blocks per game.
The Celtics defense forces more of their opponents possessions to end in turnovers, steals, and blocks than most teams. Opposing teams don't get as many shots at the rim, so there aren't as many rebounds for the Celtics to get.
The Celtics most certainly need to be better rebounders. They give up way too many offensive rebounds, and that needs to be fixed. But don't look at one number and say the Celtics are a bad rebounding team. Look at the whole picture and realize the Celtics are an AVERAGE rebounding team. That means they need to get better… but they're not nearly as bad as everyone makes them out to be.