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Ainge Vs. Rivers On Offensive Rebounding

If there’s one thing we know about Doc Rivers’ Celtics, it’s that they eschew offensive rebounds.

(To be fair, lately they also eschew defensive rebounds, eschew wins and they are eschewing the hell out of resembling a title contender).

Doc rarely misses an opportunity to understate the value of hitting the offensive glass. He’s done it repeatedly over the last few years, to the point where we can all make the once insightful observation that, “the Celtics don’t pursue offensive rebounds because they’re more interested in getting back and setting their defense.” Doc’s approach has born fruit: the Celtics are 28th in the league in ORR this season, after being 30th last season and 28th in 2009-10.

Here’s Doc dismissing offensive rebounding after the Mavs game. The money quote comes at 0:42.

This is why it was mystifying to hear Danny Ainge on WEEI yesterday expressing bafflement at the Celtics inability to get anything done on the offensive glass. Alex Speier caught his remarks:

“I think there’s two things that sort of stand out. I’m not taking a nine-game sample. I’m looking at what has been our pattern, and what has been our weakness, over the last three years with this group of guys,” said Ainge. “For three years now, we have been the worst offensive rebounding team in basketball. The second thing is, the execution of our offense, our offensive efficiency in the last five minutes of the game, I think those two things have got to be improved. I don’t necessarily know why that hasn’t happened. It’s not just personnel, because we’ve had a lot of good offensive rebounders on this team.

“I just don’t understand why we’re last. We don’t have to be first,” he added. “It’s not based on shooting percentage. When we talk about offensive rebounding, we’re talking about offensive rebound percentage. If we shoot 40-for-80, there’s 40 rebounding opportunities when we miss and we get eight of those, that’s 20 percent. That’s what we’re playing at. It’s not enough. We’ve got to get up to 25 percent, to the middle of the pack.”

Two questions pop out to me:

1) Are Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers not talking to each other? When you repeatedly breed an animal for certain characteristics, it will eventually display those characteristics. Or, to shift metaphors, it’s entirely reasonable to regard the offensive rebounding problems as a self-inflicted wound.

2) Are we going to see some changes in the Celtics’ game plan? It’s possible. Remember, the Celtics were actually an excellent offensive rebounding team for one season back in 2008-09, ranking in the top-10 in ORR. (related: that 08-09 team was fifth in the league in offensive efficiency).

  • skeeds

    Come on, Doc's not fooling anyone with all that downplaying of offensive rebounding.

    What really happens is: KG has to be the 1st big in to start heading back, because A. He's our best defender, B. He's not exactly Usain Bolt anymore so he can use a head start, and C. He's not usually in the paint anyway. That means the OTHER big has to be the one to keep his mind on the rebound.

    Even with our best "other big" of the last decade, Perk, offensive rebounds were a problem, because in contrast to defensive, they rely more on quickness and athleticism, to go around or over the guy who's usually boxing you out. In other words, if you have no one athletic enough to go up for it, all you can do is pretend it's not important enough.

    The moral of the story is, if Doc had DeAndre Jordan and his 5ft vertical bringing rebounds down from the rafters, he'd be raving about the critical importance of 2nd chance points. Oh, and he'd have one more ring, because if bad rebounding didn't lose us game 7 in 2010 I have no idea what did…

    • Mark

      I agree about Jordan. I posted on a topic some time ago that Ainge has not drafted all that well during the Big Three run outside of Baby and deserves much blame for what we see happening now. During the '08 draft Ainge raved about Jordan yet passed him over for J.R. (f'ing) Giddens. Jordan might turn out to be nothing more than a decent backup when all is said and done but his height and athleticism alone would have helped this team the last three years.

      • skeeds

        Jordan would've turned out nothing more than a decent backup if he signed with us. We've failed to develop any talent through the last 5 years, except from Rondo.
        Nevertheless, now he's a legitimate starter on a good team, he's improving by the day and he's still almost a teenager. And although I sympathize with Ainge for passing on a big with no fundamental skills, even I know that a 7 footer with that kind of physique is a rare and valuable thing in this league, as demonstrated by the money this guy is currently making to do nothing more than crash the boards and block some shots.

  • The Wilfork Way


  • dslack

    Regarding 2008-2009:
    (a healthy) Leon Powe isn't walking through that door.

    • I_Love_Green


  • IBleedGreen

    Celtics' biggest problem: 1:02

  • Devonte

    Boston needs to resign Rasheed Wallace & Eddie House back we need more shooters off the bench because they suck accept for Pietrus & Bass. Ainge needs to trade A.Bradley,E.Moore,K.Dooling,M.Daniels,S.Pavlovic,C.Wilcox, & 2012 1st round pick to Houston for J.Flynn,T.Williams, & H.Thabeet. Those 3 guys are young and they can play defense plus run the floor. If these 5 players come to Boston, Doc gotta trust the bench to help`em win the big games especially now because the BIG4 needs their rest. JR Smith is returning to the NBA next month so Ainge needs to sign him for 2 years 9 million.

    • Jimmy

      Good thing Celticshub doesn't ban people for being dumb. If so you'd be first on the list.

    • LACelticsFan

      I get it …….get OLDER less athletic so we can hmmmmm only have a shot, well then again even that won't get us a shot…….might as well stay with who we have…..btw Thabeet has done nothing. Flynn has already been traded. And Williams has the same problem. Glad you're not a GM. lol Seven for three and none of the three is either a ROY candidate or an allstar caliber player.

      • Mark

        Don't forget dumping a first round pick in the deepest draft in years for three scrubs.

        I've seen this Devonte character post crap like this before on this site. Devonte has a hard-on for Thabeet for some reason.

  • janos

    I dont care this. Where preview talk bulls celtic? I am so excite today game.

  • smalltownID

    Thank you Danny. The comment about executing the last few minutes of the game is on point. We are especially horrible at executing the last possession of the game. Much of this is on Rondo. Case in point, can someone tell me the last time Rondo won a game in the final possession or even made a great offensive play in the final possessions??? I can give you two examples of bad plays in the final possessions in the last 5 games.

    It is all or nothing usually, we either get the shot off and win, or we don't get a shot off at all. I would count the possessions where Rondo (or PP) dribble the ball at the top of the key until there is 1.5 seconds left and then chuck it like its a hot potato as no attempt.

  • High Rollers

    Janos is right. Chicago/Boston, Baby!!!!!

    Bring it.

  • IBleedGreen

    hey what happen to the pre-game analysis?

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