- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Celtics need more rebounding from non-big men.LOS ANGELES -- With centers Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal sidelined indefinitely, Celtics coach Doc Rivers told his guards this weekend that they are going to have to be more aggressive on the glass in order to help Boston mask a nightly size disadvantage.
And Rivers set a pretty lofty benchmark for that group.
"Our guards are going to have to average between 20-25 rebounds per night, as a group," he said. "Listen, that’s the only way we’re going to win right now. Until we get more size."
So how have the guards performed in the three games since Wilcox's cardiac issue was detected? Let's just say the Celtics should probably be happy to have gone 2-1 during the stretch (and, really, they should have been 3-0). For the purpose of this activity, we'll even lump swingmen Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus into this conversation, meaning only Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Greg Stiemsma are essentially excluded:
* Friday vs. Blazers -- 10 rebounds (Pierce 4, Rajon Rondo 2, Ray Allen 2, Keyon Dooling 2, Avery Bradley 0, Pietrus DNP). The Celtics were outrebounded 53-32 overall.
* Sunday vs. Lakers -- 11 rebounds (Pierce 0, Rondo 2, Allen 4, Dooling 0, Bradley 2, Pietrus 3). The Celtics were outrebounded 42-34 overall.
* Monday vs. Clippers -- 12 rebounds (Pierce 3, Rondo 2, Allen 4, Dooling 0, Bradley 0, Pietrus 3). The Celtics were outrebounded 45-31 overall.
The Celtics have been absolutely annihilated on the glass over the last seven days (and that's being kind). Boston is a ridiculous minus-81 in total rebound differential (minus-38 on the offensive glass; minus-43 on the defensive) over its last five games. They are absolutely defying the odds by going 3-2 during that stretch.
Bottom line: The Celtics need more rebounding assistance from the smaller positions, most notably with Rondo and Pierce.
As Rivers said before the Clippers game: "The key for us, not just tonight, but for the rest of the season, is that our guards have to rebound."
5dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
6dESPN Stats and Information Group