Breaking It Down

Who should get credit for this rebound?

I’ve always been skeptical about the NBA’s way of crediting players with rebounds.

Were you a expecting a lengthy pre-game post about facing Indiana and how Roy Hibbert is the one that got away? Nonsense, here’s something more interesting. I’ve always been skeptical about the NBA’s way of crediting players with rebounds. Sometimes a rebound can fall on your lap, which counts as one board for not really doing much work, and sometimes you do all the work but it doesn’t get reflected in the box score. Here’s an instance where both those scenarios take place:

Without Reggie Evans’ work, this is an easy offensive rebound for Al Jefferson, and only because Evans fought Jefferson for the ball did Bayless come away with a rebound which he didn’t have to work for. To me this is a case where a half-rebound is in order for both players, and it’s one of those things that I’d love to see the NBA change in order for the stats to be more reflective of the contribution of the players.

One video isn’t enough for a post, so here’s a play from last night’s Heat-Lakers game which highlights the importance of guards being able to set screens. Pau Gasol, much like Chris Bosh when he was with the Raptors, is a good jump-shooting big man who needs space to get his shot off. Most of the time Bosh was in a face-up situation where he wasted time off the block and eventually threw up a shot as the rest of his teammates watched, there wasn’t much movement or interplay on the set. Not the case in the play below where Derek Fisher sets a screen on Gasol after the Lakers’ power forward had begun the action with setting one on his own.

On every other play in the NBA you see a big man setting a screen for a guard to get space, plays going the other way around aren’t as common because of two reasons: guards of this era aren’t good screen-setters with the focus being shifted to playing with the ball instead of away from it, and coaches not utilizing them, perhaps because of the first reason.

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