Golden State Warriors: Rebounding to Rebound

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Golden State Warriors: Rebounding to Rebound
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Pat Riley put it best: "No rebounds, no rings." Who am I to argue with a man who has coached his team to five NBA championships?

The numbers from the 2008-2009 season don't lie either:

Top-10 Teams in Rebounding Differential

  1. Portland
  2. Boston
  3. Cleveland
  4. Houston
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Dallas
  8. Oklahoma City
  9. Orlando
  10. Detroit

Out of the top-10 rebounding differential teams, only Oklahoma City missed the playoffs. Three out of the four teams were in the conference finals. And yes, our Finals contenders, the Lakers and the Magic, were both in the top 10 in rebounding differential.

What does this have to do with your Golden State Warriors?

Well, after a 29-53 season, the blame has started to fly around rapidly.

Mullin has been booted and Moped Ellis has called out the organization. The unholy trinity of Don Nelson, Larry Riley, and Bobby Rowell are spinning their wheels. Lets not forget the constant rumors of a Corey Maggette trade for Baron Davis or Don Nelson publicly telling Jamal Crawford to get the hell out of town. Lastly, the Warriors have the No. 7 pick in what seems to be the worst draft since 2000.

However, there is hope! And it has to do with rebounding.

Where were the Warriors in terms of rebounding differential? They were last with a differential of -5.1. The next two worst teams? The Clippers and the Kings.

Pat Riley knows what he's talking about.

However, we have some bright spots when it comes to this crucial area: Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins. Over the 2008-2009 season, Andris Biedrins finished seventh in Rebound Rate while Anthony Randolph finished 23rd.

The other teams with two top-25 rebounders (to play at least 50 games): Portland (Przybilla, Oden), Orlando (Howard, Gortat), Philadelphia (Dalembert, Evans), Chicago (Noah, Gray), Los Angeles Clippers (Camby, Jordan).  Four out of five of those tandems were playing in May.

Biedrins' injury opened the door for Randolph, and he capitalized by putting up some huge rebounding numbers. I'm looking forward to a front line of Randolph/Biedrins. We'll be able to find out whether their rebounding numbers are inflated by the team's style of play, or whether that tandem can dominate the glass. 

If both of these individuals can protect the glass like their stats suggest, then the Warriors should see themselves jump from dead last in rebounding differential.  

Improving on the rebounding differential means improving in the wins column.

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