NBA Power Rankings: Brook Lopez and the 10 Worst Rebounding Big Men in the NBA

Dan Schultz@DSchultz89Contributor IJanuary 27, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: Brook Lopez and the 10 Worst Rebounding Big Men in the NBA

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    When it comes to big men, it is almost expected that if you are 6’9" or taller you will get a fair share of rebounds. After all, when one is that tall and down low in the post often on both defense and offense, it should be rather easy to grab the ball.

    Some people do not realize that rebounding requires a lot of skill and is not just about height. Reading the path of a ball is essential in order to be a solid rebounder in basketball and knowing how the ball will bounce off the rim will always give a player an advantage.

    Some players who are freakishly tall fail to grasp these fundamentals of rebounding, and here are the top 10 worst rebounding big men in the NBA

No. 10: Spencer Hawes (Center, Philadelphia 76ers)

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    Now granted, Hawes has not played the same amount of minutes as a lot of big men, but it is probably due to his less-than-stellar rebounding that he does not see as much court time as he should.

    He has a nice outside shot, can block a shot once in a while and when he’s hot, he can't miss (as evidenced by a ridiculous night against the New Jersey Nets earlier this year).

    However, for being a seven-footer, he should really be rebounding the ball at a much better rate. At only 5.3 per game, his minutes have been cut down, as he only averages 19.7 as a starter.

    There’s no question that Hawes has plenty of talent. He showed it while in college at Washington, but until he starts to rebound at a higher level, he will be seen as a decent player, and nothing more.

No. 9: Glen Davis (Power Forward, Boston Celtics)

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    Yes, Big Baby is definitely a tad undersized, and you could certainly make the case that what he lacks on the boards he makes up for in energy and a lethal mid-range jumper. Still, with the amount of weight this guy has on him (289 lbs), you would think he could manage more than 5.4 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per game.

    This is not to say that Big Baby is a bad player. In fact he is one of the most energetic sixth men in the league. Maybe his rebounding numbers are a little low because the Celtics dynamic defense forces teams into a number of turnovers.

    Big Baby is well on his way to being an above average player in the NBA, and when he learns to throw his weight around to gobble up more rebounds, he will be a very difficult guy to block out.

No. 8: Boris Diaw (Small Forward/Power Forward, Charlotte Bobcats)

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    Diaw only checks in at 6’8, but his wingspan has allowed him to be a nuisance on the defensive end time and time again. Add in a sweet mid-range jumper and some Lamar Odom-esque handles, and versatility is Diaw’s middle name.

    One would assume with the great arm length Diaw possesses that he would be able to outreach his opponents and tip balls to himself, but he only averages 5.7 rebounds a game despite being a starter and playing a good chunk of time.

    One would think given Diaw's age (28) he would be in the prime of his career, but he appears to have settled into mediocrity. If he would increase his aggressiveness on the glass just a little bit, it could prove to be a big difference for both his team and his overall game in the long run.

No. 7: Jeff Green (Power Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder)

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    Green is essentially a younger version of Rashard Lewis—someone who can be an effective three-point shooter when called upon, but someone who lacks pounds when it comes to pounding with the big men in the post.

    Green has the height to play the position (6’9), and there is no questioning his sometimes inflammable offensive game, but he absolutely needs to improve on the boards.

    In fact, one might say the Thunder’s fate rests on the shoulders of their rebounding. The team has everything else, but except for reserve Nick Collison who plays the “garbage man” role off the bench, the Thunder lack a hungry rebounder in the post (Serge Ibaka can also still improve).

No. 6: Antawn Jamision (Small Forward/Power Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers)

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    Call it a possible lack of motivation (who can blame him?) or possibly getting up there in years, but Antawn Jamison is not what he used to be.

    In the past, Jamison could at least get you eight or nine rebounds a game. This year he’s down to 6.3 rebounds per game. This is disappointing considering the megawatt talent Jamison once possessed, which made him a nightly double-double threat and a key player that made him a fan favorite in Washington with the Wizards.

    If the Cavs are to have any shot at salvaging an expectedly depressing season, Jamison will need to up his rebounding numbers considerably. Then again, that might not even be enough to keep the Cavs from floundering in sub-.500 land.

No. 5: Rashard Lewis (Small Forward/Power Forward, Washington Wizards)

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    It must suck to be Rashard Lewis right now.

    Already known as being given one of the most egregious contracts in the history of the NBA, Lewis appears to be on the last legs of his career. His three-point shooting has not been nearly as good as it has been in the past, and for a player who is 6’10" and logs a lot of minutes at the power forward spot, 5.5 rebounds per game has to be viewed as unacceptable.

    The Wizards are irrefutably looking towards the future, and 31-year-old Lewis will probably not stay there for long.

    It is highly unlikely that Lewis looks to revamp or change his rebounding habits at this stage in his career, but hey, stranger things have happened.

No. 4: Nenad Krstic (Center, Oklahoma City Thunder)

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    As already mentioned previously in this piece, if there is one thing the Thunder could drastically improve in, it is their frontcourt play. Offensively it is not anything horrendous, but rebounding wise it is undeniably weaker when compared against other “elite” squads.

    Once a promising young center with the New Jersey Nets, Krstic has been reduced to a strictly mid-range shooter whose long arms might cause problems for a couple post threats every now and then.

    For being 7’0" tall and 240 lbs, Krstic’s average of 4.8 rebounds per game (and only 5.5 for his entire career) is downright disappointing. It is really a shame a horrendous knee injury has diminished him so much, seeing that his European style of play used to give some teams fits.

No. 3: Michael Beasley (Small Forward/Power Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves)

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    In the midst of a confidence-builder of a season, Michael Beasley has successfully re-invented his image. No longer can he be labeled a “bust” thanks to his stellar play so far this year, despite the Timberwolves consistent struggles.

    No one should be happier than Beasley, as his scoring has dramatically improved while he appears to be mentally stable, the most important aspect.

    Here in lies the danger, however. It is easy to become satisfied with oneself due to improvement in one statistical category and the media recognizing this particular feat, but despite being 6’10", Beasley is averaging only a meager 5.7 rebounds per game.

    Yes, he is playing next to Kevin Love, who snatches up rebounds like few others, but it would not hurt if Beasley could at least up his average to seven or eight per contest.

    Not many players are as tall and athletic as he is, and in order for the Timberwolves to climb out from the gutter, Beasley will have to continue to improve until he is a nightly double-double threat.

No. 2: Andrea Bargnani (Power Forward/Center, Toronto Raptors)

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    In the wake of the LeBron-apocalypse that made Cleveland a wasteland, many overlooked the Toronto Raptors and the affect Chris Bosh’s departure had on the organization.

    Bargnani was called upon to step up his game and, like Beasley, Bargnani has impressively upped his scoring.

    Basically a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki with bad facial hair, Bargnani has proven to be a capable scorer in this league, and like Beasley once again, he has permanently erased all “he’s a bust” remarks from critics.

    If Bargnani is to up his reputation to that of a Dirk Nowitzki one day, his rebounding must improve. He’s a seven-foot center who is heavier than he looks (250 lbs), and 5.7 rebounds per game is simply not going to cut it.

    He is only 25 years old, so there is certainly time to mold his game a bit more and learn some crafty post moves that will allow him to get position on both sides of the floor when it comes to rebounding.

No 1: Brook Lopez (Center, New Jersey Nets)

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    To quote a guy I used to work with who was an intern with the Sixers at one point: “I saw him eating an ice cream cone today as I was walking by. He still looked scary.”

    Lopez can be intimidating when he wants to be, which usually is seen on the offensive end of the court when his height gives him an advantage over defenders on a consistent basis.

    The reason Lopez is No. 1 on this list is because he has arms that go forever, yet he only manages a mystifying 5.8 rebounds per game.

    There is no question that this guy has length that would make any big man in the post nervous, but it seems he is not using that same intimidating nature he possesses in his offensive game on the rebounding side very well. With his height and talent, Lopez should have a rebounding average double what he is doing right now.