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Your Morning Dump… Where the rebounding is improving, repeat, the rebounding is improving

Chuck - Red's Army December 5, 2013 Jared Sullinger, The Morning Dump 9 Comments

rebound

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Through the first 11 games of the season, Boston owned a league-worst defensive rebound percentage of 70.4 percent. At that point, Boston was about to embark on a road trip that featured some imposing opposing front lines (Minnesota, Houston, San Antonio), but managed to start trending in a more positive direction during that three-game stretch.

Over the past nine games, Boston’s defensive rebound rate is 75.7 percent, ranking 12th in the league during that span. That’s helped the Celtics climb from the league’s basement to 25th overall for the season with a season mark of 72.8 percent.

If Boston were to maintain that rebound rate of 75.7 percent from that nine-game stretch, it would rank them near the top 5 in the league overall this season.

Faverani’s dip is a product of his downturn in playing time. The two numbers that leap off the page are Sullinger and Bass, the team’s new starting frontcourt combination and the guys logging the most minutes up front. For Bass, whose career defensive rebound percentage is 16.3 percent, the recent leap is super encouraging. That’s been the glaring weakness in his game as an undersized power forward, but he’s finding a way to negate that recently to help Boston’s size-deprived frontcourt.

Sprinkle in the boost Humphries is giving off the bench and you’ve got a team that’s eliminating a lot of the second-chance opportunities that plagued them earlier in the season (and helping Boston shuffle into the top 10 for defensive rating).

ESPN Boston

While these numbers are encouraging, I’m cautious about long-term sustainability. Brandon Bass has never been anything but an average rebounder. Are we to believe that age 28, he’s suddenly morphed into a monster on the boards?

Kris Humphries’ presence is helping but he’ll be back on the bench once Kelly Olynyk returns from a sprained ankle.

I’m convinced Jared Sullinger will only get better. His impact on the boards will increase as his minutes rise.

Despite the perception, the Celtics did have some excellent defensive rebounding years during the new Big 3 era; 3rd in 2008-09, 8th in 2007-08 and 9th in 2010-11. They never ranked lower than 20th. It was always the absence of offensive rebounding that negatively impacted the overall numbers.

On Page 2, Sullinger remembers what Larry Drew said about him.

“I remember Atlanta in overtime, and Kevin (Garnett) fouled out,” Sullinger said. “I checked into the game. Al Horford kind of had it going, and Larry Drew — he coached the Hawks at the time — pointed down to me and said (to) go at me. Al Horford came down and charged into me twice for fouls.

“I take pride in my defense. Even though some people don’t think I play defense, I do. I love taking that challenge on.”

Sullinger has all of the denigrations memorized — not athletic enough to guard most power forwards . . . not big enough to guard most centers . . . injury prone . . . too short to have a successful post game.

What many overlook, however, is that Sullinger was off to a great rookie start last season before the Celtics shut him down to have back surgery in February. Now that he has shaken off the post-surgical rust and improved his conditioning from the subpar level seen in training camp, an interesting sophomore has emerged.

Herald

The man-crush deepens.

The rest of the links:

Globe – Rondo due for check-up | CSNNE – Blakely’s report card | ESPN Boston – Relearning to embrace the win | The season comp: 2006-07 Nets |

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  • zippittyay

    Right now, Hump is just better than KO.

    • eddysamson

      Yeah if we’re actually trying to win like they’re saying, they need to play him more. Him and Pressey almost always have a huge positive impact on the game when they come in.

      • Curt Hays

        Sadly, I have to agree about KO. Love the guy, but I really like Kris being on the court.
        I am hesitant to say that Pressey is that big of a deal. He hustles. I like the guy. He hasn’t found his shot yet.

        • Raoul

          I’d like to see some more Brooks myself.

          • Curt Hays

            Because he deserves it, or because you want to see him develop into a player/trade bait?

          • Raoul

            I feel he deserves it and that he won’t be able to develop without it. He’s a pure scorer and I think he has the skill to contribute like the best of them. The problem on this roster is that there are just too many guards, so there’s little chance.

          • Curt Hays

            See, I was thinking that there are too many Power Forwards.
            Honestly, duplication is a problem we’ve had for far too long. We NEED to trade three guys and get Anderson Verejao.
            How about Bass/Lee/Brooks for him? That would eliminate the duplication.
            Trade Machine says it works and it also saves us $3 million this year.

  • bill_nair

    Love the chip on his shoulder Sully plays with. Wish some other guys on this team would play with that same, um…fierceness?, that he plays with.

  • Curt Hays

    The thing with the Big 3 and defensive rebounding is that they never tried to run the court, so there were always more guys there to rebound (and we had KG). Offensively, they didn’t have many second chances because Glen Rivers had them all running back to play half court defense. It’s a new era with a new gameplan. I expect the lack of defensive rebounds will be made up on the other end of the court.