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This is a rebound season for the Celtics in more than one way

Last season for the Boston Celtics was a major disappointment, but I doubt we will have a repeat. Kyrie Irving has been ably-replaced by Kemba Walker, and the center position has taken on a whole new look. One positive factor for Boston for the coming season is as close-to-guaranteed as it gets. The quartet occupying the 5-spot will be a major improvement in the rebounding department, especially on the offensive end.


Last season, the Celtics finished the regular season ranked 22nd in rebounding, averaging 44.5 RPG. Al Horford is off to the rival 76'ers, and he was the Celts main board guy, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game, with 1.7 coming off the offensive glass. Al ranked 45th in the NBA in this specific category during the regular season. Newly-acquired Enes Kanter finished last season ranked 14th in rebounding with 9.8 RPG, 3.8 of which were of the offensive variety (per NBA's Taylor C. Snow):

In 20 career matchups against the C’s, Kanter has averaged 12.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while seeing 23.2 minutes of action. That includes 12.1 RPG over the past two seasons, during which he faced the C’s nine times. (His rebounding average per 36 minutes over that span was 18.6!)

Specifically, Kanter has excelled on the offensive glass. He has finished among the top three in offensive rebounding percentage during each of the past five seasons, while twice owning the No. 1 rate in the league (2015-16, 2017-18). That’s good news for a Celtics franchise that hasn’t seen a player finish among the top three in that department in more than 40 years.

French import, Vincent Poirier, spent last season overseas in the Euroleague. He led the League in total rebounds (8.3 RPG) and offensive boards (3.4/game). We don't yet know how Poirier's skills will translate to the NBA, but expect a lot of second-chance points from these two big men as they attack the offensive glass.

Third-year man, Daniel Theis, is no slouch off the boards. In his first season in Boston, prior to his meniscus injury, he averaged 4.3 rebounds per game in only 14.9 minutes of action, which projects to 10.5 RPG on a per-36-minutes basis. In his rookie season, Rob Williams snagged a lot of boards simply on his length and athleticism. Once he learns to be more aggressive, he could be a terror as a fierce rebounder and rim protector.

So the Celts will have a new look in this upcoming rebound season. I expect Kanter to set the tone for aggression on the offensive glass, and others will follow his lead. Also expect more points to come on lobs and put-backs. Count me as one that would love to see the 3-point attempts get squashed at least a little bit. And how about Tacko Fall you may ask. If ever I saw potential as an offensive rebounder, it is this Green Giant. With a standing reach of 10'2", many errant shots may fall (no pun) right into his hands. If he follows the example of former Celtic, Kevin McHale, and keeps that ball high, the little guys can't get it and put-backs are a breeze. Of course, he needs to make the regular roster first. That is another story.

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Photo via NBA

Comments

  1. Nothing is more frustrating than how the Cs have rebounded in recent years, especially when they play good defense and then give up multiple offensive rebounds to the other team. I just don't see how this new center quartet (hopefully quintet with Tacko eventually) doesn't easily improve the team in this area, especially if Time Lord takes a big leap forward because there's barely anyone in the NBA that can do what Time Lord is capable of doing as a defender.

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    1. We saw little of Timelord last season, that I forgot how unbelievably-athletic he is. If he improves his BBall IQ and harnesses that athletic ability somewhat, he can have a good career. Now in the process of writing if Tacko is potential NBA caliber. Danny needs to wrap him up in some form or chance losing him to another team.

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    2. I have a feeling that it's just a matter of time before Tacko is signed to the 15-man roster like Green just was and Wannamaker will either be cut or traded to make room. We have plenty of PGs and Tacko's upside is certainly worth more than what Wannamaker can provide.

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