Game Links: Jazz 82, Celtics 94
Pregame – Pierce’s Rebounding is Critical Tonight
There’s Lakers-big, and then apparently there’s Jazz-big.
Doc Rivers spoke before tonight’s game about the size of this Utah Jazz team he’ll be facing off against tonight. He said that their team isn’t necessarily big in terms of height, but they’re certainly big in terms of general size.
The frontcourt starts a couple of rebounding machines in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Both of those players are 6-foot-10 or shorter, but both play much bigger than their size. Then, off the bench, Utah has a 6-foot-11 rookie center named Enes Kanter and a second-year, 6-foot-10 forward named Derrick Favors.
Those four players are the main reason why Utah heads into tonight’s game ranked fourth in the league in rebounding. Rivers and his staff know that attacking the glass will be as important as ever tonight if they hope to grab a win.
Obviously, the C’s are going to need big performances from Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass to play well in order to compete on the glass. More importantly, though, Rivers says Boston needs Paul Pierce to continue his hot streak on the glass.
Pierce has grabbed at least eight rebounds in four consecutive games. Rivers actually said that having Pierce rebound at that level is more important than any other statistical category… before chirping, “But 36 points isn’t bad, either.”
I asked Rivers what has gotten into Pierce to turn on this outstanding rebounding streak. His answer was short and sweet.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into him,” said Rivers, “but we want it to stay in him.”
The C’s are hoping it stays in him for tonight’s game, because they certainly need it.