Remember the NBA offseason, when that guy you know from New England wouldn't stop yelling about the Boston Celtics' challenging the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 1 seed in the East in 2016-17 between shoutings of "Brad Stevens!"?
Now they're 3-4, and not because of bad luck, either—they've been particularly terrible on the boards, ranking dead last in the NBA in defensive rebound percentage.
After a Wizards miss, shooting guard Bradley Beal fell to the ground under the Celtics' basket as the rest of his team retreated. With five Celtics there to secure the board, Boston big man Amir Johnson tried tipping the ball to guard Avery Bradley. But he failed, as Beal—still on the floor—corraled the rock and kicked it out to John Wall, who found Otto Porter for an open three.
To be fair, the Celts have been without two heavy-rotation frontcourt players for most of the season: Key offseason signing Al Horford has missed the last four games with a concussion, and Kelly Olynyk made his season debut last night after suffering a dislocated shoulder in 2015-16.
But they might not be much help.
While Olynyk is a very handy offensive player and an underrated defender, he's not known for his work on the boards. And though Horford is rightly hailed as one of the league's most rounded player, many fail to mention his precipitous drop to sub-Brook Lopez rebounding (per 36 minutes) in the two seasons prior. The 2015-16 Atlanta Hawks, featuring Horford playing center next to Paul Millsap, were 25th in the league in defensive rebound percentage.