When NBA fans think of a team’s leading rebounder, they picture the team’s big man or someone around seven-foot. But that’s not the case for the Boston Celtics, whose leading rebounder is a guard. Not just any guard, but 6-foot-2 Avery Bradley.
Though the Celtics have two 7-footers on their roster, the undersized shooting guard is still grabbing the most boards. Bradley’s rebounding average has skyrocketed from last season’s 2.9 to 8 per game so far this year. According to NBA Stats, he is corralling 20.5 percent of the Celtics’ defensive rebounds and 12.5 percent of their total rebounds.
Bradley currently ranks 28th in the NBA in rebounds per game. Only one guard is ahead of him—Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (10.9). The rest of the ranked players are taller centers or forwards.
The Celtics are 12-9, third in the Eastern Conference, but rebounding has been an issue. They rank 28th
in the league, and Bradley knows they need help.
“In the past, the coaches were always telling me to rebound more,” Bradley told bostonglobe.com. “It’s just something I know our team needs. I’m here to do whatever I can do to help our team and right now it’s rebounding. That’s what I’m going to try to do every single night.”
The number of rebounds a player hauls in usually has more to do with effort than skill. Below are examples from games this season in which Bradley showed extraordinary effort on the boards.
Against the Houston Rockets, Bradley hustled for the loose ball, put up a layup, missed, got the offensive board over a taller defender and scored on a tip-in.
Against the Golden State Warriors, Bradley grabbed a defensive board over Celtics center Kelly Olynyk and a Warriors forward.
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The next closest rebounder on the Celts is 6-foot-10 center Al Horford with 6.5 a game.