How good a marginal rebounder are you really?
Maybe this is too strange and squirrelly an example to deserve mention on MR, but I found it fascinating. It starts with this:
This year’s rebounding leaderboard, at least in terms of rebounds per game, is topped by DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond, who also finished 1-2 last season. In a bygone era, you’d simply say they are the league’s best rebounders at this time. Yet it might not be that way at all.
There seems to be a huge oops:
Both the Clippers and Pistons have better defensive rebound rates with their star rebounders on the bench. How is that possible?
This is a big topic, but one possible reason could be the simple fact that neither Jordan nor Drummond is particularly concerned with boxing out…Drummond blocks out on the defensive glass just 5.97 times per 100 opportunities, lowest in the league among centers with at least 500 chances.
Jordan is a little better at 9.64, but that’s still the 11th-lowest total.
In other words, what really matters is marginal rebounding prowess, adjusting for how many rebounds you take away from the other players on your team. Maybe an individual can pull in the ball more often by positioning himself to grab the low hanging fruit rebounds — often taking them from other team members — rather than boxing out the other team for the tough, contested rebounds.
Measurement really is changing the world. The article is here, by Bradford Doolittle, ESPN gated. Here is more on DeAndre Jordan, also ESPN gated. That is one media source I pay for gladly.