Use Rebound Percentage to Determine your Best Rebounder

How do you determine who is your best rebounder? It’s not just the total number of rebounds, or even the number of rebounds averaged over a full game. Other factors such as the shooting percentage of your team versus your opponents can overweight defensive or offensive rebounds. The best way to determine this is by seeing how many possible rebounds occurred when each player was on the floor, and then seeing how many of those rebounds each player actually captured. Since there are 10 players on the floor at all times, a 10% Rebounding percentage would be “average”.

The traditional “rebound rate” only estimates the number of available rebounds, since most stat packages don’t tally all events from a players’ time on the floor. However, when you score a game with Hoopsalytics, it knows exactly how many possible rebounds occurred for during each players’ time, which gives you a true rebound percentage. This is how the Reb% stat in Hoopsalytics is accurately calculated. You can find it from the Team Stats. (Hint: Click the column header to sort the rebound percentage from highest to lowest to see who your best rebounders are.)

Here’s a snippet from the San Francisco Dons team for 2021-2. The center #25 Massalski was dominant on the boards for this team:

In the NBA, the best ever rebound rate for a full season was recorded by Dennis Rodman, with a 29.7%. So almost one of every three rebounds. That’s an amazing stat.

Many statistics can be used to support an argument or counter a prevailing thought.  Depending on the situation, traditional rebounding stats can do much the same but often can be misleading.  For example, if your center has 10 rebounds in game one but only 7 the next, a novice might say the center had a worse stat line on the glass in game 2.  But what if there were 60 available rebounds (during the center’s playing time) in the first transition-fueled game but, due to pace of play, only 35 available rebounds in game 2 (also with similar per minutes played)?  That’s where Rebounding Percentage (Reb%), might come in very handy to motivate your rebounders. In game 1, the center had a Reb% of 16.6% (Total Rebounds / Available Rebounds) during his time on the floor as opposed to a 20% Reb% in game 2.  In this case, less is more.

Using the example above, what actionable benefit could be learned by the team’s coach?  First and foremost, the coach knows the player is giving solid effort based on his consistent 2-game Reb%.  Over the course of 8-10 games, with a larger sample size, a coach can know – really know – how productive his rebounders are.

Hoopsalytics’ Points Per Possession (PPP) is a helpful stat to gauge offensive player efficiency.  Now it’s time to get down with Reb% to better quantify who your best rebounders are. Once the mark is set, rebounders have a baseline to improve from.  Over the course of a season, even gradual positive rebounding differential will net your team extra possessions, more shots and statistically, more baskets.  If your players are tuned in to this stat, just watch your extra possessions and wins accumulate.

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Category: Analytics | Stats