Make sure you have a few spare backboards ready, TD Garden staffers, because at the rate Kevin Love will be rebounding Wednesday night, they'll probably be nothing left. Love and the No. 4 ranked rebounding team in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves, will face the host Boston Celtics as the green team tires to crack double-digit wins on the season.
Love has only played seven games this season due to a hand injury the kept him on the sidelines for the first part of the season, but he hasn't wasted any time putting up his usual numbers. Love is comfortably averaging a double-double of 19.4 points and 14.6 rebounds. Thanks mainly to Love, the Timberwolves are the fourth-best rebounding club in basketball, averaging 45.4 boards. Considering that the Celtics are the worst offensive rebounding team in the NBA -- they average 7.4 offensive boards -- this should be a field day for Love.
Outside of Love and the rebounding, however, the Timberwolves still leave a lot to be desired, specifically on the offensive end. Defensively, they boast on of the league's better units, giving up just 92.3 points per game (4th in the NBA), but are 24th in scoring (93.3 PPG) and 24th in team assists (21.1 APG). On the flip side, Boston has the best passing team in basketball -- thanks to league assists leader Rajon Rondo, who will be playing in his first game back from a two-game league imposed suspension.
Boston's offense has been improved from last year but still sits in the middle of the league, averaging 97.5 points a night. Defense has been an issue all season for this once-dominant defensive club in Boston, as they allow 97.9 points on average to opponents, and are in the bottom half of the league in defensive rebounding, averaging 30.1 boards.
Paul Pierce continues to be Boston's leading scorer, putting up his usual numbers (19.2 PPG) while Garnett is contributing with 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per night. Rondo is the only Celtic currently averaging a double-double, with 12.9 points and 12.9 assists, and Jason Terry is the only other member of the green to post double-digit scoring, averaging 11.7 points.
Behind Love, Nikola Pekovi is averaging 14.2 points and 7.4 boards and Andrei Kirilenko is averaging 13.0 points and 7.8 rebounds. Chase Budinger (11.8 PPG), Luke Ridnour (11.5 PPG, 4.4 APG) and Alexey Shved (10.8 PPG) are the only other Timberwolves currently averaging more than 10 points per game.
Wednesday night's game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and will air on CSNNE/WEEI.
For more Boston Celtics coverage, check out our team blog, Celtics Blog.