In what went down as a 114-106 loss for the Celtics, we came to learn what they’ll need to do move past the Raptors to claim the 2nd spot in the East. But before we talk about that, we should talk about how the Celtics lost (imploded) last night. The first 7/8 of the game went over pretty well as Isaiah led the Celtics to a 100-91 lead over the Raptors with 6:00 left in the game. That is where trouble began to brew. In those final six minutes the Raps outscore the Cs 23-6, out-rebounded them 11-3, and out-blocked them 4-0. Last night was just another example of how the Celtics need to obtain a presence down low.
Getting out-rebounded has been a dangerous trend for the Celtics all-season long, last night they lost the battle of the glass embarrassingly badly at 50-33. For the season, the Celtics are 28th in the league with a rebound differential of -4.4 per game. Spoiler alert: that isn’t very good. The only teams who have been worse than them in that category are the lowly Pelicans and Mavericks.
There is a clear need here to improve down-low and get a talented rebounder. Getting bullied around on the glass won’t allow them get deep in the playoffs, much-less beat the Raptors or Cavs. While Horford is definitely a very talented big man, he doesn’t quite fill the need down-low that they have. Amir Johnson has proven to be useful, but soft.
Fortunately it appears as if some rebounding help may be available on the trade market. The big name of DeMarcus Cousins will obviously be thrown around a lot as the trade deadline approaches, but don’t expect the Kings to move him any time soon.
Nikola Vucevic is a name that has come up a couple of times that is very intriguing. While Vucevic of the Orlando Magic may not be the most talented defender, he is known for being a great rebounder and quality score. The concerns with him? Like I said the defense, but also the Magic’s asking price would likely be far too high.Who do I think is a reasonable and very possibly acquisition? Andrew Bogut. I know it isn’t the sexiest name in the world and that Bogut is past his prime now, but he can still contribute to a good team like the Celtics. A few months into the season and it has become incredibly obvious that Bogut isn’t fitting in well with the Dallas Mavericks, but his rebounding and shot blocking abilities would work excellently in Boston. Not to mention, he is still one of the better passing bigs in the league.
Whether it be one of those three men or someone else, it became abundantly clear last night that the Celtics are in need of some rebounding help.