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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  • Hermp

    Whoever taps the ball to their teammate who controls the ball should be credited with the rebound. As for guards not being good at setting screens, I think they are, or could be with some practice. Guys like Wade, Rose, etc, have the bodies for it. Maybe it’s a matter of the bigs not being able to shoot or handle the ball well enough? I mean, if I’m Jameer Nelson, I’m not putting my body on the line to set a screen for Howard.

    • Smushmush

      I agree that the person tapping the ball to a team mate should be credited with the rebound since he did the hard work not the person to who it is tapped to. Solution done. Fine.

      • WJF

        If the tap is an actual controlled tap to a teammate, sure the tapper should get the rebound, but just tapping a ball and having the luck of one of your teammates getting the ball is not worth a rebound, even thought the effort was there.

    • Jackie Moon

      Gone are the days of small guards like Stockton setting hard screens for the bigs. I still love ringing a big guys bell on a screen, and I have to go to work in the morning every day.

      • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

        A ridiculous comparison.

        Are the guys you’re screening 7 feet tall, skilled and athletic as olympians, and weigh over 100 lbs more than you? You can’t compare a single thing you do in your pickup games to letting dwight howard run into you full force.

        • Jackie Moon

          I’m 5’9″ screening guys up to 6’9″. True, none of them are as jacked as D12, but I’m not the size of most pro guards. It was more a comparison of the mentality. Stockton was setting screens for Malone and Ostertag’s man. Besides, very rarely does the screener get it worse than the screenee.

  • L-man

    You’ve lost me there. Generally speaking you’d want the ball to be in your PG/SG’s hands rather than in the hands of your bigs.

    Think about it: how many perimeter shooting big men are there in the league? How many of them are reliable on a day-to-day basis?

    • hateslosing

      There a 6 or 7 bigs off the top of my head that have the range to be effective in a play like the one above. Keep in mind though that a screen set by a guard for a big that’s setting up in the low post would almost guarantee that big getting good inside position. The high pick and roll and the screen and curl have become so popular in this league that a lot of the other uses for screens have sort of been cast aside but there are a tonne of situations where guards setting screens on bigs is effective.

      • Copywryter

        Agreed. If anything, more and more bigs don’t even have a post-up game, they are 12-18 foot jump shooters, which makes this kind of screen a good idea. It’s even better if you have a tall (or at least long) guard who can set the pick and take a step inside for good rebounding position.

  • A.Bargnani

    Who cares, this is basketball, not reboundball.

  • Pesterm1

    lol BARGNANIIIIIIII! i thought you had the flew

  • Van Grungy

    Wasn’t that a moving pick by Fisher?

    He was using his arms and moving like a linebacker would protect the pocket…

    • onemanweave

      A linebacker would be looking to pick the pocket, not protect it.

      • Smushmush

        That is actually the center’s job – protect the quarter back and by extension, the pocket. My 2 cents.

        • onemanweave

          Guards, tackles, te and rb might have a bit to do with it as well.

      • Van Grungy


    • Van Grungy

      Wasn’t that a moving pick by Fisher?

  • Nilanka15

    While we’re at it, maybe the league should look into providing assists for passes leading to free throws as well. How many times do you see a gorgeous pass leading to his teammate getting fouled? Without the pass, the scoring opportunity would never have been created. In such situations, each free throw should count as 1/2 an assist (and for a 3 pt shot, each free throw count as 1/3 an assist). If the player gets fouled and makes the shot, keep it as is…that is, one assist.

    • Smushmush

      +1, I would not mind if this actually happened especially in the foul happy NBA league recently.

    • Hermp

      I heard that one of the reasons they won’t do it is because they’re too lazy to go into the record books and change the assists numbers. Stockton would have about a million assists.

  • golden

    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.


    The basic premise is good, but starting down the path of awarding fractional stats is a very slippery slope. It actually makes stats even more subjective and people will complain even louder about the who should have got awarded that 1/8th of a steal, or whatever.

    That’s where the advanced stats come in, like ORtg, DRtg, adjusted +/-, etc… Intangible contributions like taps, deflections, setting screens, effective show & recovers, etc… should get picked up by those kind of stats.

  • voy

    gotta keep it as objective as possible and give it to the guy who gets the ball, otherwise it gets too convoluted.

    Why not give 1/3 a rebound to Amir, as well, who kept his man off the glass to allow Reggie to tip the ball where Bayless grabbed it.

  • OTFP

    Tapping, shmapping.
    Next people are going to want a stat counting good boxouts. Or strong side rebounds/weak side rebounds.
    Whoever ends up with the ball in his hands gets the credit, work or no work.
    That the person ended up with the ball is the only thing that’s important, since it means a change in possession.
    How they came to get it is irrelevant.
    The end.

    And Not sure how fisher’s pick could have been any more illegal.
    Shuffling his feet, giving 3 or 4 SHOVES into whoever the f that was. He’s actually LEANING FORWARD INTO THE DEFENDER.
    Ahh, piece of sh*t NBA reffing strikes again.

  • I agree with the idea, but think the wrong video was chosen. If you full screen it, and watch closely, Jefferson taps the rebound twice to himself, and at no point does Reggie even get a finger on the ball.
    Had Bayless not snuck in to steal it away, Al was going to re-establish himself in the post, passed it out to Harris or Miles, who would have been wide open, or a quick shovel pass inside to Favors who was wide open because Davis left him well before his team secured possession of the ball.

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    In the video posted, Bayless should get credit because it wasn’t clearly directed to him by Evans, it came to him as two other players were fighting for it without successfully winning the rebound for themselves.

    I agree with some other posters who’ve said that there are times when the player ending up controlling the ball should not get credit for the rebound. Kleiza/Dorsey are players who have been very good at this, when they go up for an offensive rebound and tap it back out to a player standing around the 3-point line. In these situations, they clearly outjumped everybody else to get to the rebound but, instead of grabbing it, they essentially made a single-motion pass of the rebound to another player. I haven’t studied stats in box scores enough to see who is getting credit for the rebound in this case, but it should be the player tipping the rebound, rather than the one ending up with the ball.

    If this were to be changed I fear that a lot of Bargnani haters would see their arguments getting less attention! lol At least a couple times a game, moreso on the defensive end, Bargnani goes up for a rebound amid several bigs and, knowing he can’t outjump them to grab the ball with both hands, he tips it over them towards the corner, where his weakside teammate is waiting. It’s not just Bargnani, but I see this quite a bit where a player is seemingly doing a good job of helping the team rebound, yet their individual stats show very few rebounds. I’m not saying Bargnani would be averaging double-digit rebounds by any stretch, but a modification of rules would easily see him averaging a rebound or two more per game, along with many other players getting increased averages for the same reason.

    However, it would make an otherwise objective stat become very subjective, if officials had to determine whether every tipped rebound was purposefully directed or not. Unless the NBA had replay officials review every game to update stats for every game, I can’t see a rule change like this happening.

    • Theswirsky

      “Bayless should get credit because it wasn’t clearly directed to him by Evans”

      this is exactly what happens. If a ball is intentionally tipped/direct to a player, the person directing the tip gets credit. In this case it wasn’t intentional so Bayless gets credit.

      “If this were to be changed I fear that a lot of Bargnani haters would see their arguments getting less attention”

      I beg to differ. I guarantee if this gets changed Bargnani’s rebounding totals plummet. He gets credit for so many rebounds that his teammates fight for but fall into his lap while he is watching others try.

      “officials had to determine whether every tipped rebound was purposefully directed or not.”

      they already do this.

  • hotfuzz

    If you start awarding fractional rebounds, you have start awarding a lot of other things fractionally as well.

    For example: A star guard on a team drives in the lane and attracts a double team and passes it off to his big for a very easy dunk, shouldn’t the points be split there.

    Or how about when a big sets a hard screen(which rarely happens now) for his guard who knocks down the open shot. The open shot was created due to the big setting the screen, should the points be split again.

    How about steals? one player does the work and deflects the ball to his teammate who simply just picks up the ball and is awarded with the steal. Shouldn’t the steals be split there.

    My point is if you start awarding fractional rebounds, the NBA will have to revamp the whole system because a lot of other things will need to be addressed as well.

  • The proper credit for this specific rebound SHOULD go to Jerryd Bayless.

  • Theswirsky

    the screen set by Fischer is incredibly illegal. While it was effective, so would punching a guy in the sac.

    While good screens don’t get enough credit, illegal screens should be called more often. Then again if the league called traveling, illegal screens and carries to the letter… this game would be nothing but whistles and turnovers.

  • daniel

    what has to see the second video with the main point of the post?