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C’s-Nuggets: The Beast-Shaped Void

 

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“Tough day to play basketball.” – Kevin Garnett

Not an easy day to watch basketball, either. The Celtics played sad tonight, showing zero resistance as the Nuggets went on a 16-0 run in the last six minutes of the game. That stretch saw a bunch of blocked shots, near 24-second violations, three turnovers, and generally some of the worst offense you’ve ever seen. I mentioned earlier that it’s tough to take anything scientific from a game between two new-look teams, but some elements of tonight’s game were pretty familiar.

1. Wilson Chandler will still hit every three he attempts against the Celtics.
2. The officiating will still allow Celtics opponents to manhandle them under the basket, even with all of their muscle gone.
3. Doc would rather go with four players than give Avery Bradley serious floor time.
4. Glen Davis is still an incompetent rebounder.

We’re going to focus on that last one. The most predictable outcome of dumping three of the team’s five active bigs was realized tonight on the boards. Glen Davis was knocked around underneath by Nene and Kenyon Martin, coming away with six boards for the evening to ten each for the two Nuggets. With Davis occupying the starting center position for the foreseeable future (unless a merciful buyout comes along), his rebounding is probably among the most important things to pay attention to tonight (other than, again, the fact that Delonte looks healthy).

Incompetent is actually a fair word for Glen’s rebounding, because a sufficient number of players in league history have proven that rebounding is not a matter of size. Charles Barkley was five inches shorter than Glen. Chuck Hayes had 13 offensive rebounds last night, and he’s three inches shorter. Ben Wallace is the same height as Glen, and he’s still a hugely superior rebounder even though he’s TWELVE YEARS OLDER.

Glen isn’t a bad rebounder because he’s short. He’s a bad rebounder because he doesn’t get good positioning, gets boxed out more often than he does the boxing, and spends too much of his time near the perimeter. On several occasions tonight, a ball went up and Davis let Nene, Kenyon Martin, or Al Harrington slip in front of him and edge him out from under the ball. He’s too focused on stretching his body upward for the ball, and that makes it easier to knock him off his spot. What he should be doing is getting under the ball and planting himself so his opponents can’t get around him. If he did that, trying to get move Davis off the block would feel like this:

But instead it probably feels more like this:

Let us look at Glen’s actual numbers on the glass. We’ll charitably ignore offensive rebounding, because the C’s defensive system actively discourages it. But Glen Davis’s defensive rebound rate is 15.7, meaning that he grabs 15.7 percent of available defensive rebounds. That puts him at 140th in the league, 64th among centers. It’s his best mark ever, but he’s still been a worse defensive rebounder than several shooting guards, and almost exactly as good as Paul Pierce. Kendrick Perkins (tough just typing it) had a DRR of 27.3 in 11 games.

Ready to get really sad? I seriously need you to prepare to be sad. Okay. Jeff Green is a much worse rebounder than Glen Davis. He and Davis are both listed as being 6’9″, but Green’s defensive rebounding rate is 13.6, worse than a litany of guards and right around the level of Vince Carter. Any lineup with Green and Davis at the 4 and 5 would give up a ton of boards.

Combine this information with the fact that, before his injuries, Shaq was nothing short of a horrible rebounder. He went through a stretch in January when he grabbed 14 rebounds in SEVEN GAMES, and he averaged 3 defensive rebounds in the last 4 games he played. Now see how important it is that the Celtics end up with Troy Murphy (DRR 26.4, Perk-level) or Sam Dalembert (24.8, 30.7 last year).

  • Tom W

    I keep coming back to CelticsHub at 3 AM knowing that there are a ton of people on here feeling the exact same way that I am.

    Thanks for this post, Hayes. Feels like salt in a wound, but still. This hurts so damn bad…I feel like I just got dumped.

  • earl

    hoping to land MURPHY AND OR DALEMBERT.. PLEASE DANNY AINGE WORK YOUR MAGIC ONE MORE TIME. PLS MAKE SENSE TO ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED…

    KRISTIC/ J.O. / SHAQ
    GARNETT / DAVIS / MURPHY
    PIERCE / GREEN
    ALLEN / WAFER
    RONDO / WEST

  • joebrown42

    There is no chance we are getting Dalembert. Murphy seems close to the Green.
    We can but pray.

    • hdavenport

      That is almost definitely true about Dalembert. I had heard the Kings might buy him out, but now it looks like they won't (and even if they do he'll most likely end up in Miami).

  • Zee
  • kinto

    You can blame Davis and he surely has his flaws. But you can't overlook the fact that the C's once again decided to change the way they use him by shifting him in the paint full-time. And committing to this probably for the rest of the season. Davis is a bit of a swiss-army knife with his inside-outside game, and having him as sixth man would allow him to express his potential. I keep thinking at this trade sitution and I don't see it working playoff-wise.
    Especially after seeing how few Memphis gave up to take Battier.

  • Celtics3417

    Leon Powe has been bought out of his contract. Leon can be a strong body inside, doesn't help our size but Doc could make it work.
    Troy Murphy needs to end up with the green if this deal is going to make any sense. Give up our best defensive and rebounding center for a forward that is neither of those. The celts are built around defense and they suck at rebounding, just hard to swallow.
    Is there any word on Rip or Marcus Camby?

  • Zee

    I keep hoping this is all a dream, but its very much real. Why in the world did we trade Perk? I understand money, but I thought it was all about banner 18? Wouldn't another banner mean more money for the franchise?

  • Corey G.

    I'm with Tom, I feel like I got dumped. I understand Perk refused the contract extension earlier this year and Ainge is looking at the future, but I don't see how we can compete when we just made our already bad rebounding worse. I think the rebuilding that we were are fearing just started a lot sooner than anyone anticipated.

  • http://twitter.com/JdotD @JdotD

    Why the hell are people calling for Dalembert? Has anyone actually ever seen him play basketball, he's terrible!
    This trade was tough but we aren't weaker because of it.
    The Erden trade is a bit weird, especially because we know we needed his depth, and got so little in return. Makes me hope we have an under the table deal with Cleveland to buy someone out for us.

  • Zee

    TITLE: Sizing up what Celtics-Thunder trade means for the Lakers

    "This at least becomes clear: Rivers can't lament Perkins' absence should the Lakers beat the Celtics in the Finals. The Lakers have their own issues, though they've softened since putting together a two-game winning streak. But this remains clear: The Lakers would match up much better against the Celtics in the NBA Finals without Perkins in the lineup. He may have been limited in the Lakers' 109-96 loss Jan. 31 to the Celtics, posting two points, six rebounds, four fouls and three turnovers in 27 minutes. Perkins also couldn't match Bynum in the Lakers' 92-86 victory Feb. 10 in points, scoring 12 to Bynum's 16. And Boston still stayed the top team in the Eastern Conference despite his absence until the first Lakers-Celtics matchup."
    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2011/02/

  • Zee

    Wouldn't it be something if OKC Thunder and Celtics met in the Finals? The Thunder are NOW a huge contender in the West with Perkins.

  • Mark

    You know, people loving what Danny did yesterday needs to come here and read this for a reality check. Danny a gutted a championship caliber team and got a 7-0 that sucks at defense and rebounding, and doesn't play a whole hell of alot of minutes as well as a SF/PF that isn't big enough to defend PF or quick enough to defend SF. Oh, LOL, he's a horrible rebounder.

    I forgot, though, that Danny is sure Shaq and J.O. will be back to man the center position. LOL, the same Shaq that just has this little achilles "issue" that just won't go away and, when he was playing, saw his effictiveness drop considerably from the first part of the season. Oh, and as for the walking corpse named J.O.? Yeah, thats real dependable.

    I don't feel comfortable with the trades AND watch out if this team goes on a mini losing streak. It might happen starting in LA tomorrow because the hangover from this, I suspect, will last a long time.

    The real core of this team was our starting five. It seems Ainge was intent on trading "Bird, McHale and Parrish" .

    • talesofJP

      Thats an overreaction. Maybe Perk could have helped them win a title this year, but then again maybe not. With him starting the Celts play 3 on 5 on offense, with teams not defending Rondo or Perk. Perk was a good defender, but look at what happened last time Orlando played the Celtics, D12 went for 28 points. Thats not great defense. If you say Perk was still recovering, well there was no guarantee he'd ever be really healthy.

      Assuming we get Murphy, we get a rebounder, a young forward with good size and talent in green, and whatever Kristic can give us for the rest of this season. Nate was a deeply flawed player, and not a good back up point guard, so losing him was not an issue.

    • kricky

      Right on Mark.!You hit the nail right on the head, brother.

      THERE IS NO WAY TO DEFEND THIS TRADE.

      When you have the championship in sight you do everything you can to get it done. This is the rarest of opportunities! You don't stockpile draft picks and prospect players with an "upside" (Bradly, Green) for the coming years.

  • kricky

    Davis is who he is. A Quirky and unusual player that can be very effective off the bench, but with massive flaws in his game.

    I love baby as our 6th man. But he will never be a starter in this league and I don't ever see him developing those parts of his game.

    The smart move would have been to keep the team intact. When it came time to rebuild to not sign Baby and keep Perk.

    Yes Perk would have commanded a lot of money. But there is a reason for this. How many guys in the league are there that can do what he does? You can count them on one hand. There are dozens of Guys that do what Green does.

  • Razah

    I told yall Baby was a weak rebounder and it does come from lack of effort and basic fundamentals, things like that you learn at the age of 12 years old. ____I would glady accept a trade that trades baby to Utah in a package for Millsap. Baby wil never be a starter in this league, because of his weak rebounding and lacks basic fundamentals that good coaches in the league absolutely abhor.

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