Boston Celtics In Dire Need of Big Man Help
After being dominated on the glass by Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas in a 114-106 loss to Toronto, the Celtics’ necessity for a big man has been amplified.
The Boston Celtics entered Tuesday night’s tilt with the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors aware that this game would be considered a measuring stick for their ability to leapfrog their counterparts north of the border in the standings in the coming months.
Undeniably, the contest underlined exactly where the Celtics stand as of now, as the Raptors rattled off a 34-22 fourth quarter to knock off their foes in green, 114-106. DeMar DeRozan dominated each defender that Boston placed on him, abusing the Celtics efforts in the process of garnering 41 points, 13 rebounds, and a game-high +19 plus/minus rating. In the meantime, the NBA’s most prolific fourth-quarter scoring offense faltered down the stretch, falling monumentally short of their average of 29.2 points in the final 12 minutes of the game while appearing lackluster in body language.
Despite the fact that you could chalk up the Celtics inability to score in the fourth quarter to be a fluke, there was one area that Toronto commanded that Boston will be unable to improve upon with their current roster. The Raptors monopolized the rebounding battle, recording 50 rebounds compared with the Celtics measly 33. Boston allowed a stunning 17 offensive rebounds while grabbing just half a dozen of their own. 11 of these offensive rebounds alone went to Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, who boosted himself into the top 15 in the league in rebounds per game with 23 boards.
While the statistics were telling, it was the Celtics effort on the defensive glass that was the most frightening. Both Al Horford (nine rebounds in 35 minutes) and Kelly Olynyk (four rebounds in 25 minutes) were consistently bullied on the glass by Valanciunas. Each time a Raptors shot attempt went up, Valanciunas…