Bismack Biyombo grabs career-high 18 rebounds

Biyombo was all over the glass. He turned away seven shots, too.

Bismack Biyombo set a new career-high for rebounds in a game with 18 on Thursday against the Charlotte Hornets.

The 23-year-old center recorded 17 rebounds on two occasions in his career. It’s not the first big outing on the glass that Biyombo has had this year. Back on Nov. 28, he tied a Raptors record for rebounds in a scoreless game with 16. The career-high is a bit more impressive and served to help keep the Raptors in a game they probably didn’t have much business being in.

Biyombo also added eight points on two-of-four shooting and seven blocks, the latter tying a career high. His overall performance was good but a little uneven, as he struggled to help keep guards away from the rim in the middle quarters despite the block total. He did, however, start out emphatically and played well down the stretch. None of this is to disparage Biyombo, who continues to play well despite being asked to play more minutes than is ideal (he played 40 on Thursday), only to provide the requisite balance so that one doesn’t see the stat line and assume he was Dikembe Mutombo (he DID finger wag twice, mind you).

In any case, Biyombo has been a pleasant surprise in the stead of Jonas Valanciunas. In 27 games on the season, Biyombo is averaging 5.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 23 minutes while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor. The Raptors entered play Thursday playing 11.3 points per-100 possessions worse with Biyombo on the floor, owing to the struggles of the second unit early in the year and the recent struggles of the starting unit.