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Thread: Is rebounding still all that important?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    Default Is rebounding still all that important?

    Historically, one of the most important stats for a team was how well they rebound. The logic is simple: more rebounds equals more possesions equals more wins. However we are seeing something a little different lately. The best team in the league, the Heat, is also the worst rebounding team in the league. The second best team, the Spurs are seventh worst. New York, Atlanta, Boston are three other playoff teams that are in the bottom ten, meaning five out of ten of the worst rebounding teams in the league are playoff teams.

    Now, if you look at the top 10 rebounding teams, 9 of them are in the playoffs (Wash is 6th) so maybe it's just that the Heat and Spurs are special, but it makes me wonder if rebounding is becomng less important as the league goes more and more periemeter oriented. Thoughts?
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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    I think you can get away with poor rebounding if you have top-tier elite talent at multiple positions...
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I think you can get away with poor rebounding if you have top-tier elite talent at multiple positions...
    Yes, but why? I actually started this thread because I'm confused and am looking fo insight.

    I mean I understand that the Heat and Spurs shoot rediculously high percentages as teams (like 49% each), which means that there aren't as many offensive rebounds and they need fewer possessions to score a lot of points. So is it that their rebounding numbers only look low because there are fewer overall rebounds and they are still good rebounding teams? I'm just curious if having guys who score at a high percentage is now more important than having elite ebounding, which was not the case in the past.

    Either way, life's looking good for Amir Johnson.
    "When Life gives you lemons, you clone those Lemons to make super lemons!"
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    Yes, but why? I actually started this thread because I'm confused and am looking fo insight.

    I mean I understand that the Heat and Spurs shoot rediculously high percentages as teams (like 49% each), which means that there aren't as many offensive rebounds and they need fewer possessions to score a lot of points. So is it that their rebounding numbers only look low because there are fewer overall rebounds and they are still good rebounding teams? I'm just curious if having guys who score at a high percentage is now more important than having elite ebounding, which was not the case in the past.

    Either way, life's looking good for Amir Johnson.
    I wish I could send you a link to this thing I saw one time....I don't know if it was NBa on TNT, or NBAtv, or ESPN....one of the major networks. And they were doing this sort of summary of the type of thing you're talking about. It was something like 8 key stats, and basically, an elite team like MIA could be dead last in one or even two categories because they're at/near the top in all others. Again, the segment stressed that it doesn't matter which areas are weakest...could be rebounding, or D, or shooting, or getting to the line...as long as a team excels in the other areas. I don't remember all the stats, but they were not advanced, just simple things like what I put in the last sentence.

    So yes, rebounding is important, but basically, it's more important to forge a strong identity and style that allows the team to excel in its areas of strength to such a degree that the weaknesses are still weaknesses, but much more easily overcome.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    Yes, but why? I actually started this thread because I'm confused and am looking fo insight.
    Dean Oliver's "Four Factors" has held up pretty well over time. Here are the recent numbers:

    http://hoopdata.com/teamff.aspx

    You have to look at differentials to understand the impact of certain measurements. Looking at rebounds in isolation tells you, well, not much. Teams like SAS and MIA have poor rebounding differentials but they are extremely efficient teams that get to the line a lot compared to their opponents.

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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Dean Oliver's "Four Factors" has held up pretty well over time. Here are the recent numbers:

    http://hoopdata.com/teamff.aspx

    You have to look at differentials to understand the impact of certain measurements. Looking at rebounds in isolation tells you, well, not much. Teams like SAS and MIA have poor rebounding differentials but they are extremely efficient teams that get to the line a lot compared to their opponents.
    I think this is what I had caught a segment one. Basically if a team excels in 3 of the 4 differentials, they're likely to be a very good, probably elite, team even if one lags behind really badly. I probably thought of it as 8 categories since each area is split for O/D.

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    Rebounding is always important, but there are many more key areas for a team to excel in that can make up for it. I don't have the stats open, but with Miami, they are excellent defensively and cause turnovers. Thus while they might give up too many offensive rebounds, they also tend to limit quality possessions the other team gets, as well as make up for some of those rebounds by getting points off turnovers. A good/great team can basically have one or two weaknesses if in most of the other key areas it is very strong/elite.

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    I don't think any one statistic can be used to draw any conclusions (except The Bargnani Effect - that sh!t is real).

    While SA, NY, ATL, and BOS are poor rebounding teams they have strengths in other areas which I think more than make up for poor rebounding - namely FG%, oppFG%, and 3pt made.

    Looking at FG%:
    1) MIA
    2) SAS
    7) ATL
    9) BOS

    OppFG%:
    4) BOS
    8) SAS
    9) MIA
    13) ATL

    3pt made:
    2) NY
    4) ATL
    5) SAS
    8) MIA
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I don't think any one statistic can be used to draw any conclusions (except The Bargnani Effect - that sh!t is real).

    While SA, NY, ATL, and BOS are poor rebounding teams they have strengths in other areas which I think more than make up for poor rebounding - namely FG%, oppFG%, and 3pt made.

    Looking at FG%:
    1) MIA
    2) SAS
    7) ATL
    9) BOS

    OppFG%:
    4) BOS
    8) SAS
    9) MIA
    13) ATL

    3pt made:
    2) NY
    4) ATL
    5) SAS
    8) MIA
    That one confuses me even more. So the other team shoots a low percentage...so there are more rebounds available and your still unable to grab any. The Fg% and 3-pointers make sense though.
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    That one confuses me even more. So the other team shoots a low percentage...so there are more rebounds available and your still unable to grab any. The Fg% and 3-pointers make sense though.
    Look at the number of opponents made field goals (least to greatest):
    4) NY
    6) MIA
    7) BOS
    14) ATL

    and attempted field goals (least to greatest):
    2) NY
    8) MIA
    11) BOS
    18) ATL

    They are limiting the number of made field goals which is obvious but with the exception of ATL they are also better at limiting the number of attempts. Good defense creates less chances to score.

    You then have pace as well. For the most part (again ATL exception) they play slower than the league average:
    6) NY
    8) MIA
    13) BOS
    19) ATL
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Look at the number of opponents made field goals (least to greatest):
    4) NY
    6) MIA
    7) BOS
    14) ATL

    and attempted field goals (least to greatest):
    2) NY
    8) MIA
    11) BOS
    18) ATL

    They are limiting the number of made field goals which is obvious but with the exception of ATL they are also better at limiting the number of attempts. Good defense creates less chances to score.

    You then have pace as well. For the most part (again ATL exception) they play slower than the league average:
    6) NY
    8) MIA
    13) BOS
    19) ATL
    And Matt is kind of rummaging through the stats on his own making the same kind of point I was trying to make....I really wish I could find that little segment.

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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    That one confuses me even more. So the other team shoots a low percentage...so there are more rebounds available and your still unable to grab any. The Fg% and 3-pointers make sense though.
    Take a team like Boston: they almost ignore offensive rebounding. They are making a point of getting back on defense, thus giving up offensive rebounding possibilities. Reason: old. This limits transition points and otherwise easy opportunities due to the defense not being organized good enough / in time. It's usually a trade-off between some different elements of the game. Teams that have speed can probably get away more easily with going for offensive rebounds and still get getting back to limit easy chances. Doc Rivers decided a couple of years ago that they cannot.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    Take a team like Boston: they almost ignore offensive rebounding. They are making a point of getting back on defense, thus giving up offensive rebounding possibilities. Reason: old. This limits transition points and otherwise easy opportunities due to the defense not being organized good enough / in time. It's usually a trade-off between some different elements of the game. Teams that have speed can probably get away more easily with going for offensive rebounds and still get getting back to limit easy chances. Doc Rivers decided a couple of years ago that they cannot.
    Oh what do you know about rebounding? You're just a soft Euro

    Further to your point, I think it would be interesting to see when a veteran team like Boston rebounds. I would assume that their rebounding rate increases quite a bit if looking specifically at the 4th quarter (i.e. when the game is on the line).

    EDIT: Meanwhile, a team like the Raptors seem to give up a costly offensive rebound at the most inopportune times....
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Oh what do you know about rebounding? You're just a soft Euro

    Further to your point, I think it would be interesting to see when a veteran team like Boston rebounds. I would assume that their rebounding rate increases quite a bit if looking specifically at the 4th quarter (i.e. when the game is on the line).

    EDIT: Meanwhile, a team like the Raptors seem to give up a costly offensive rebound at the most inopportune times....
    There still isn't enough statwise on the internet. Unfortunately all those teams using advanced stats who measure everything, aren't really open about it. It's a shame that guys like Pruiti (and Hollinger) who now work for teams and have access to all those stats aren't allowed to write about it anymore.

    And, eh, about that Soft Euros stuff and rebounding. We get it very well, much better than you guys. What you guys don't realize is that rebounding takes time and energy. So, on offense, we don't go for offensive rebounds; this allows us to spare energy Šnd get back in transition more easily. This way we can jog, not run. On defense, we do it the same way. We stay far away from the basket and we certainly don't box out; this again saves energy and gives us a better position on offense while our dumb opponent is in a terrible position for defense when he goes for the offensive rebound. He might catch up with us if he runs back on defense while we jog, but that costs so much energy; after the game he must be exhausted; we can still go for another game if needed. It's brilliant!

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    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    Take a team like Boston: they almost ignore offensive rebounding. They are making a point of getting back on defense, thus giving up offensive rebounding possibilities. Reason: old. This limits transition points and otherwise easy opportunities due to the defense not being organized good enough / in time. It's usually a trade-off between some different elements of the game. Teams that have speed can probably get away more easily with going for offensive rebounds and still get getting back to limit easy chances. Doc Rivers decided a couple of years ago that they cannot.
    It's not even an age thing.

    Stan Van Gundy was a big proponent of this approach even though he had Dwight Howard. He wanted guys back to defend. Scott Brooks and Eric Spoelstra have the same style. OKC and Miami were both among the NBA's worst offensive rebounding teamsl last year.

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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    That one confuses me even more. So the other team shoots a low percentage...so there are more rebounds available and your still unable to grab any. The Fg% and 3-pointers make sense though.
    One thing to consider is where these rebounds are happening. If you give up an oreb very close to the basket, that's bad, because it can yield an immediate high percentage shot. But if it's a long oreb, it's better, because that would make it more likely for the team to kick it out and reset their offence - a much less valuable possession than the one that starts two feet from the basket.

    Smarter teams tend to coax more long twos out of their opponents, which causes more of the "better" orebs, which would partly explain why they can get away with such seemingly bad rebounding numbers.

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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    One thing to consider is where these rebounds are happening. If you give up an oreb very close to the basket, that's bad, because it can yield an immediate high percentage shot. But if it's a long oreb, it's better, because that would make it more likely for the team to kick it out and reset their offence - a much less valuable possession than the one that starts two feet from the basket.

    Smarter teams tend to coax more long twos out of their opponents, which causes more of the "better" orebs, which would partly explain why they can get away with such seemingly bad rebounding numbers.
    The problem is that this is not the reality with some of the teams used as examples here. Both Boston and Miami are in the bottom of number of shots allowed from 16-23 feet (see hoopdata) even if you adjust for pace.

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    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    The problem is that this is not the reality with some of the teams used as examples here. Both Boston and Miami are in the bottom of number of shots allowed from 16-23 feet (see hoopdata) even if you adjust for pace.
    Yeah, I'm not saying that explains all of it, but it could be a contributing factor.

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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Dean Oliver's "Four Factors" has held up pretty well over time. Here are the recent numbers:

    http://hoopdata.com/teamff.aspx

    You have to look at differentials to understand the impact of certain measurements. Looking at rebounds in isolation tells you, well, not much. Teams like SAS and MIA have poor rebounding differentials but they are extremely efficient teams that get to the line a lot compared to their opponents.

    That's very interesting, I hadn't seen that before. Makes a lot of sense, Efficiency and Free throw rate tells you how well a team uses a possession while turn over rate and off reb rate give an indication of how many extra possessions they get and give up. Leaves out defensive rebounds because they don't give you an extra possesion and instead anticipates you getting every defensive rebound, meaning every offensive rebound is a loss of possesion for one team (essentially a turnover) and a new possesion for the other. Good tool to measure total team performance.

    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    Take a team like Boston: they almost ignore offensive rebounding. They are making a point of getting back on defense, thus giving up offensive rebounding possibilities. Reason: old. This limits transition points and otherwise easy opportunities due to the defense not being organized good enough / in time. It's usually a trade-off between some different elements of the game. Teams that have speed can probably get away more easily with going for offensive rebounds and still get getting back to limit easy chances. Doc Rivers decided a couple of years ago that they cannot.

    Also Makes sense, teams choose which of the factors that their teams can excel in then and sacrifice others. Boston does well by sacrificing everything in order to try to keep their defensive efficiency high.

    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    One thing to consider is where these rebounds are happening. If you give up an oreb very close to the basket, that's bad, because it can yield an immediate high percentage shot. But if it's a long oreb, it's better, because that would make it more likely for the team to kick it out and reset their offence - a much less valuable possession than the one that starts two feet from the basket.

    Smarter teams tend to coax more long twos out of their opponents, which causes more of the "better" orebs, which would partly explain why they can get away with such seemingly bad rebounding numbers.
    I like numbers... don't make me sad by adding qualitative data to my quantitative world .

    Edit: unless you numbers that give percentages of where teams give up offensive rebounds...could be interesting, especially in Bostons case. That would be happy

    Thanks all, this makes sense to me now.
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    That's very interesting, I hadn't seen that before. Makes a lot of sense, Efficiency and Free throw rate tells you how well a team uses a possession while turn over rate and off reb rate give an indication of how many extra possessions they get and give up. Leaves out defensive rebounds because they don't give you an extra possesion and instead anticipates you getting every defensive rebound, meaning every offensive rebound is a loss of possesion for one team (essentially a turnover) and a new possesion for the other. Good tool to measure total team performance.




    Also Makes sense, teams choose which of the factors that their teams can excel in then and sacrifice others. Boston does well by sacrificing everything in order to try to keep their defensive efficiency high.



    I like numbers... don't make me sad by adding qualitative data to my quantitative world .

    Edit: unless you numbers that give percentages of where teams give up offensive rebounds...could be interesting, especially in Bostons case. That would be happy

    Thanks all, this makes sense to me now.
    Haha yeah that's my point; the rebounding numbers that we have are, unfortunately, probably oversimplified.

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