The New York Knicks are a terrible rebounding team, 25th in the league.
They were bounced by the best rebounding team in the league, the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers surprisingly gave the Miami Heat a seven-game challenge—or is that not so shocking? The Heat are the worst rebounding team of all.
Against the 10 worst rebounding teams in the league, New York went 22-9. That includes the San Antonio Spurs (swept 2-0) and the Atlanta Hawks (swept 3-0), along with the Heat (3-1) and Boston Celtics (3-1, 7-3 including playoffs).
Against the 10 best rebounding teams, the Knicks were 14-15. Here we have the Chicago Bulls (swept 0-4), Houston Rockets (swept 0-2), Brooklyn Nets (2-2) and the Pacers (2-2, 4-6 including playoffs).
Rebounds matter. Ten of the top 11 rebounding teams made the postseason.
Tyson Chandler should continue to get his 10 rebounds a game.
Carmelo Anthony can up his contribution to eight or nine a game (from seven) if he forgoes some isolation play in favor of the backcourt handling the ball for more minutes, freeing him up for an additional offensive board or two.
He’s working with Hakeem Olajuwon on his defensive post game, too. That will improve his positioning.
Finally, J.R. Smith is good for another five to six rebounds per game.
The Knicks, though, need a rebounding specialist, and that is not where Andrea Bargnani comes in. Bargnani, when healthy enough to play, is a cinch for double-digit scoring, but not too many rebounds (expect three to four a stint).
Amar’e Stoudemire can’t be counted on here, either, with those shabby knees. Woodson will push Stoudemire to the outside this season, rather than have him crashing around on the inside.
In other words, the Knicks’ offseason will be considered a failure—and their attempt to become a title contender will take a big hit—if New York doesn’t bring in someone else to work the glass defensively and get those second-chance opportunities on the offensive end (especially important on a team whose primary scorers weather frequent shooting slumps).
Elton Brand is a good reach. He averaged over 10 rebounds per 36 minutes off the Dallas Mavericks’ bench in 2012-13 and is a lifetime nine RPG. He led the league in offensive rebounds twice.
Lamar Odom works here, too.
One way or another, New York will pick up a rebounder sometime this offseason.