Rebounding is one of those stats that never really gets enough credit in NBA circles.
It's easy to focus on glamorous stats like scoring and dishing out assists, but rebounds are crucial to the winning effort. Cleaning the defensive end stops a possession and can trigger an easy run-out, while picking up an offensive board keeps a possession alive, giving a team yet another chance to produce those all-important points.
Fortunately, recent developments have given us an increased ability to measure players' values on the glass.
Throughout this article, you'll see plenty of metrics used, and it's important that you enter the next handful of slides with a solid knowledge of each of them. So, here we go:
- The standard offensive, defensive and total rebounds per game. No explanation needed, as these box-score metrics have been around for decades.
- Offensive, defensive and total rebound percentages. These show the percentage of available rebounds grabbed in each situation, which takes quantity out of the equation.
- What I'm calling "percent conversion." This comes from NBA.com's SportVU data, and it measures the percentage of a players rebounding chances (when a player was within 3.5 feet of the available rebound) that were successfully grabbed. A player who grabs the same number of rebounds as another guy is more impressive on the boards if he does so with fewer opportunities, and that's what this stat can show.
- "Percent contested." Also coming from the SportVU data, this shows what percentage of a player's rebounds came while there was another player within the vicinity of this rebound. Having a higher number means that more fighting for the boards was successfully done.
All of these factors matter, because each on their own can be awfully misleading.
So, with that out of the way, let's break down the best rebounders at each position that the Association has to offer.