The Celtics have surrendered over one hundred points in each of their last three games. Fortunately, Chicago ranks twenty-seventh in points per game, averaging 92.5. The Bulls also allow the second most points per game in the league, surrendering 90.4 points.
Boston has not played since Saturday, and despite it being a road game, all the ingredients are there to pick up a timely victory tonight.
To do so, Doc Rivers club must box out. The internal key to the Celtics rebounding woes is to make sure that each opposing player is accounted for. Everyone must box out and then aggressively pursue the basketball.
The Bulls rank seventh in rebounds per game, averaging 43.5 per contest. Led by Joakim Noah, former Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau’s team attacks the glass, doggedly seeking second and third opportunities.
Tonight’s second key is a constant for this team, the bench. With Jason Terry once again leading the second unit, hopefully they can help to carry the scoring load.
This will also be a big test for Jared Sullinger and Chris Wilcox, who must match the energy and intensity of Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Taj Gibson.
Boston has enough difficulty when Kevin Garnett isn’t on the floor, the other bigs must be able to hold things down defensively when he is not in the game.
Tonight will also be a good test for Jeff Green, who will often be matched up with Luol Deng. Green being able to score and cover the versatile small forward, will go a long way towards getting Paul Pierce rest, and allowing the Celtics to get out in the open court.
Even without Derrick Rose, Chicago provides a tough test and will challenge Boston in many of the team’s areas of concern. This will also be a strong challenge for the team’s key role players, and a strong performance could go a long way towards forging an identity.