NBA Roundtable

Starting Power Forward’s Rebounding Numbers

In General NBA on May 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Starting Power Forwards

  • Atlanta Hawks — Josh Smith — 12.1%
  • Boston Celtics — Kevin Garnett — 16.6%
  • Charlotte Bobcats — Boris Diaw — 9.6%
  • Chicago Bulls — Tyrus Thomas — 13.4%
  • Cleveland Cavaliers — Ben Wallace — 16.4%
  • Cleveland Cavaliers — Anderson Varejao — 15.0%
  • Dallas Mavericks — Dirk Nowitzki — 12.8%
  • Denver Nuggets — Kenyon Martin — 10.9%
  • Detroit Pistons — Antonio McDyess — 19.3%
  • Golden State Warriors — Anthony Randolph — 17.5%
  • Houston Rockets — Luis Scola — 16.9%
  • Indiana Pacers — Troy Murphy — 19.1%
  • Los Angeles Clippers — Zach Randolph — 16.3%
  • Los Angeles Lakers — Pau Gasol — 15.0%
  • Los Angeles Lakers — Lamar Odom — 15.5%
  • Memphis Grizzlies — Darrell Arthur — 14.5%
  • Miami Heat — Udonis Haslem — 14.4%
  • Milwaukee Bucks — Charlie Villanueva — 14.7%
  • Minnesota Timberwolves — Kevin Love — 21.0%
  • New Jersey Nets — Ryan Andersen —  14.1%   (Yi = 13.7%)
  • New Orleans Hornets — David West — 13.1%
  • New York Knicks — Al Harrington — 9.8%
  • Orlando Magic — Rashard Lewis — 8.9%
  • Oklahoma City Thunder — Jeff Green — 10.4%
  • Philadelphia 76ers — Elton Brand — 16.5%
  • Phoenix Suns — Amare Stoudemire — 12.9% (career worst)
  • Portland Trailblazers — LaMarcus Aldridge — 12.5%
  • San Antonio Spurs — Matt Bonner — 11.9%
  • Sacramento Kings — Jason Thompson — 15.4%
  • Toronto Raptors — Chris Bosh — 15.4%
  • Utah Jazz — Carlos Boozer — 19.2%
  • Utah Jazz — Paul Millsap — 17.0%
  • Washington Wizards — Antawn Jamison — 13.7%

I included starters for all teams and three others — Millsap and Odom because of their obvious talent, and Varejao+Wallace for Cleveland because I’m not sure who their first choice starter is.

The Rankings

Top 10

(1) Minnesota Timberwolves — Kevin Love — 21.0%

(2) Detroit Pistons — Antonio McDyess — 19.3%

(3) Utah Jazz — Carlos Boozer — 19.2%

(4) Indiana Pacers — Troy Murphy — 19.1%

(5) Golden State Warriors — Anthony Randolph — 17.5%

(6) Utah Jazz — Paul Millsap — 17.0%

(7) Houston Rockets — Luis Scola — 16.9%

(8) Boston Celtics — Kevin Garnett — 16.6%

(9) Philadelphia 76ers — Elton Brand — 16.5%

(10) Cleveland Cavaliers — Ben Wallace — 16.4%

Middle 13

(11) Los Angeles Clippers — Zach Randolph — 16.3%

(12) Los Angeles Lakers — Lamar Odom — 15.5%

(13) Toronto Raptors — Chris Bosh — 15.4%

(14) Sacramento Kings — Jason Thompson — 15.4%

(15) Cleveland Cavaliers — Anderson Varejao — 15.0%

(16) Los Angeles Lakers — Pau Gasol — 15.0%

(17) Milwaukee Bucks — Charlie Villanueva — 14.7%

(18) Memphis Grizzlies — Darrell Arthur — 14.5%

(19) Miami Heat — Udonis Haslem — 14.4%

(20) Washington Wizards — Antawn Jamison — 13.7%

(21) Chicago Bulls — Tyrus Thomas — 13.4%

(22) New Jersey Nets — Ryan Andersen —  14.1%

(23) New Orleans Hornets — David West — 13.1%

Bottom 10

(24) Phoenix Suns — Amare Stoudemire — 12.9%

(25) Dallas Mavericks — Dirk Nowitzki — 12.8%

(26) Portland Trailblazers — LaMarcus Aldridge — 12.5%

(27) Atlanta Hawks — Josh Smith — 12.1%

(28) San Antonio Spurs — Matt Bonner — 11.9%

(29) Denver Nuggets — Kenyon Martin — 10.9%

(30) Oklahoma City Thunder — Jeff Green — 10.4%

(31) New York Knicks — Al Harrington — 9.8%

(32) Charlotte Bobcats — Boris Diaw — 9.6%

(33) Orlando Magic — Rashard Lewis — 8.9%

Some Thoughts

Combo Forwards — Jeff Green, Rashard Lewis, Al Harrington, and Boris Diaw — these guys are getting thrashed on the backboards.

Rashard Lewis — Magic fans need no introduction to this one, they’ve been lamenting the lack of of second rebounder to put alongside Dwight Howard for a long time. It seems every time they play a top team they’re getting out-rebounded by 5 or more possessions a night, and Lewis is a main reason why. This limits the overall impact of his quality contributions hugely.

Jeff Green — Green is getting hammered both defensively and on the backboards at the power forward spot. It’s an above average player in both areas when he’s playing at small forward.

Career Worsts — There’s a large number of guys on this list who are either averaging their worst rebounding numbers of the career, or some of the worst rebounding numbers of their career. It just seems off.

At first glance it looks like Dirk, Amare, West, Josh Smith, Ty Thomas, Al Harrington,  are all having either the worst rebounding season of their careers or one of the worst rebounding seasons of their careers. I was surprised at how lowly Dirk and Amare ranked, but not West or Smith.

Tyrus Thomas — I wrongly expected Thomas to be higher up on this list.

Kenyon Martin — Very good at grabbing tough contested rebounds in traffic, but his general rebounding over the course of the game is very poor. No surprise to see him rank so low on this list …. despite his reputation to the contrary.

Happier Thoughts

Kevin Love — Love is a beast. It’s a joy to watch this guy rebound, especially on the offensive glass (best offensive rebounder in the league? He’s damn close!).

Anthony Randolph — Just keep improving big fella. He has star potential … but still a large number of flaws. One to watch, most definitely. His rebounding was very encouraging.

Antonio McDyess — Watch this guy closely in free agency. He’s a major league difference maker and has a lot left in the tank. He’d be a superb addition for Boston or San Antonio, hell he’d be a great addition for anyone, but those two teams in particular.

Luis Scola — For my money, the guy was the second best player on the Houston Rockets squad last season behind Yao Ming. His rebounding was a big reason why. Phenomenal glue guy.

Final Thought

I’m still getting used to rebounding rate numbers, I used to use per minute rebounding stats but rebounding rate is better because it better accounts for pace. So, I wasn’t sure what these results were going to be.

Still, I was surprised at such a large difference between the center spot and the power forward spot, there should be a difference but I was expecting it to be smaller than it was. I was thinking the middle of the pack rebounder would decrease from 16.5% (center) down to 15.5% (power forward) rather than down to 14.7-15%. I was also surprised by how many poor rebounders where on the list — ten below 13%.

I do wonder if that average number would increase, or if the percentage of poor rebounders would decrease, if I included backup power forwards too. I might check that out sometime in the none-to-near future.

Later in the summer I’ll be looking at the perimeter positions too, because I want to learn what the average marks are for those spots in rebounding rate.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

In the comments section of the center’s post, Sam wondered where Bargnani would rank if he was being judged as a power forward. Here’s the answer to that:

Bargnani would be the fourth worst rebounder out of starting power forwards (34 total including Bargnani), placing ahead of both Rashard Lewis, Boris Diaw and Al Harrington.

Andrea would still be roughly 50% worse than the middle of the pack rebounder at this position.

But the gap between him and the bottom ten rebounders (31% versus 56% at the center position), and in particular the bottom five rebounders (9% versus 38%), has closed considerably.

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  1. I am very interested with these rebounding. I am quite impressed with Joakim Noah and Kevin Love, especially considering Love was a rookie. I think his rebounding, strong outlet passes and good offensive game will mean that Love will be a star in the league.

  2. Dave,

    Please explain what makes you [and others] think that “Rebounding Rate” is a more accurate indicator of a player’s actual prowess in this aspect of the game rather than, say, “Total Rebounds”?

    [in my eyes, each, on its own, is a flawed statistic]

  3. Hey Khandor,

    Rebounding rate better accounts for differences in pace and minutes played.

    Hey Dino Gunner,

    I’m a big fan of Kevin Love’s game too. Once he gets that jump shot of his down pat, he’s going to be one heck of a player in this league.

  4. Dave,

    What makes you [and others] think that differences in Pace & MP are a relevant consideration when it comes to determining a specific player’s rebounding prowess accurately?

  5. re: Rashard Lewis for Orlando

    For those who watched last night’s Orlando/Cleveland game.

    Hopefully you paid attention to the following 5-Man Unit which the Magic used at one point in the 2nd half:

    PG/A-Johnson
    OG/C-Lee
    SF/H-Turkoglu
    PF/T-Battie
    C/M-Gortat

    In part, it’s the presence of highly serviceable back-up players like Battie [PF/C] and Gortat [PF/C] that allows someone like Rashard Lewis to succeed in a major way as a relatively poor rebounder for their team, in conjunction with teammates like Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard, Mickael Pietrus, and Anthony Johnson, each of whom is more than capable of holding his own on the boards at his respective position … and, of course, the many other positive attributes which Rashard also has in his fairly unique skill set.

  6. Khandor,

    Why wouldn’t be they be important? They effect the number of rebounding opportunities available.

    When comparing two player’s rebounding numbers — say, where one of those players plays for a team that run’n’guns and the other guy plays for a team that slows it down at every opportunity — Say their minutes are the same, and their rebound totals are the same. Which guy is the better rebounder? I think it’s the guy who gets those rebounds despite having less opportunities at grabbing rebounds.

    Edit: For example — The Golden State Warriors, they rebound the ball 42 times per game and the opposition gets 47.1 rebounds. That’s a total of 89.1 rebounds a game. In contrast, the Pistons grab 41.4 rebounds and give up 40.4 rebounds, for a total of 81.4 rebounds. That’s roughly a 10% difference in the number of available rebounds, and rebounding rate accounts for that difference.

    Per minute rebounding — say you have a guy who grabs 7 boards in 35 minutes, versus a guy who grabs 5 rebounds in 20 minutes — which guy is better? If that 20 minute player got 15 extra minutes, would he grab two or more rebounds? Yes.

    Rebounding rate gives a more accurate number on a player’s rebounding prowess because of these two factors.

  7. Khandor, even after falling big the Magic still had a chance of taking this game and winning again on cleveland’s home court. I am very impressed with the Magic this year and the coaching job Stan Van Gundy has done. I think they would be a major threat against Denver/ LA if they make it that far.

  8. Dave,

    IMO, neither Pace nor MP should really be factored into the equation when evaluating a player’s rebounding prowess, as “stat-based” comparisons are not accurate separators when evaluating two players of similar but different ability.

    e.g. Carl Landry is a better rebounder than Rashard Lewis, at the PF position and it doesn’t matter one iota to me what “the numbers” might have to say about this. Now, if you switch these two players between Houston and Orlando would this make the Magic or the Rockets a better team? What about the role played by their respective teammates? What about their inter-action with their coach? What about … etc., etc., etc.

    Dennis Rodman was a terrific rebounder because of THE WAY he went after the ball on each and every possession, regardless of the Pace the Pistons & the Bulls played at or the MP he had with those respective teams.

    In general, when a player’s individual role changes so, too, does his level of productivity and it isn’t necessarily “more of the same”, as godd-great players increase their levels of performance as they play more or at a faster pace while less-than-good-to-great players do not.

  9. Dino Gunner,

    If Orlando can get by Cleveland … which is still not a foregone conclusion … they will be a formidable opponent for either LA or Denver.

    The Magic are a very versatile team with a lot of weapons and solid NBA coaching.

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