WASHINGTON - It's no coincidence that when the Celtics
fail to keep pace with opponents on the glass, they lose. Last night's
game against the Wizards at the MCI Center was no exception. Washington
outrebounded Boston, 50-43, and won, 110-105, in overtime. Most
discouraging was the fact the Wizards pulled down 21 offensive rebounds,
which explains why they scored 27 second-chance points.
thought Washington was more physical," said coach Doc Rivers. "They
attacked us more. At the end of the day, if you give up 21 offensive
rebounds, you shouldn't win the basketball game. But giving up that many
offensive rebounds we still had plenty of opportunities to win the
After the Celtics
failed to attack the glass in their first two games, they made a
concerted effort to rebound, and saw the benefits. Last night's
performance clearly marked a step back.
has been the reason we've given up points more than anything," said
Rivers. "If you look at the first two games, we didn't rebound. If we
were just an average team rebounding, we would have won those two games,
at least one of them. That's the first area we have improved, and we
have a long way to go in that."
Upside to LA story
mention of the Lakers, Phil Jackson, and Gary Payton in the same
paragraph, never mind the same sentence, garners attention, no matter
how innocuous the utterance. Such was the case prior to last night's
game when Rivers discussed how a year with the Lakers likely benefited
Payton, despite all the dysfunction during the team's 2003-04 season and
the triangle offense that never suited the veteran point guard.
a crazy way, maybe that whole situation with the Lakers helped him,"
said Rivers. "I don't know how, but I think when an athlete goes through
a negative situation like that, I don't ever think it hurts you as a
player. I think it's another system that you learn or try to learn. You
find out areas that you don't want to put yourself in offensively and
defensively. I don't think that hurt his game. That whole experience
probably helped him. It probably helped him in the locker room."
On waiting list
Perkins thought he might finally earn some significant minutes this
season, after spending much of his rookie year watching from the bench.
But the 20-year-old big man entered last night's game averaging 2 points
and 2 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game and against the Wizards played
just three minutes, scoring 2 points and grabbing one rebound. The
youngster who has found a regular spot in the rotation has been rookie
Al Jefferson. "I've just got to continue working every day," said
Perkins. "Sooner or later I'll get my chance and when I get my time,
I've got to be ready. I really haven't been told what I need to do to
get on the court because I haven't asked. But I've never been the type
of player to go up to a coach and ask him what I need to do on the
court. I'm the type of player where either you're going to play me or
you're not. I'm just going to come to work every day and continue to
improve." . . . Raef LaFrentz fouled out with 3:02 remaining in the
fourth quarter. Mark Blount followed him to the bench with six personals
with two minutes left in overtime . . . Jared Jeffries scored a
career-high 15 points for Washington . . . Rivers's oldest son,
Jeremiah, a standout basketball player, was in town for an unofficial
visit to Georgetown.