Defensive rebounding improvement.
Does anything more need to be said other than, no, this is not a shot at Serge Ibaka in any way (even if that one moment could be considered a great example of this needed improvement).
Some people have made the mistake of saying that the Thunder are not/were not a good rebounding team last year and that’s just not true. For starters, the Thunder were the third best offensive rebounding (rate) team in the league last year behind Memphis and Detroit and were the sixth best rebounding (rate) team in the NBA, ahead of teams like the Blazers, Lakers and Bulls. So those two statistics show how fictitious the assertion is that the Thunder were not a good rebounding team.
The problem with the Thunder’s rebounding is not what it wasn’t able to do last year as much as it was what it could have been last year if the defensive rebounding wasn’t just middle-to-below-average in the NBA. Well, and if anyone in the front court could grab more than six total rebounds a game.
Stats like those are why I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re SF, who rarely finds his way onto the block on defense, is your leading rebounder and your team leader for grabbing defensive rebounds, then there’s a legitimate problem that must be improved for next season. Keep Reading…