The Nets currently rank 17th in the NBA in team rebounds per game. Coming into this season, head coach Avery Johnson said that rebounding the basketball was one area his team needed to improve.
Though the Nets are still in the bottom half of the league, they’re much improved since last season.
In the 2011-2012 NBA season, the Nets grabbed just 40.3 rebounds per game and that ranked them as the league’s 27th best rebounding club.
“Reggie Evans has been as rugged a rebounder as the Nets hoped when they acquired him in a sign-and-trade with the Clippers this summer. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward leads the league in rebounds per 36 minutes, at 14.9. But 6-foot-11 center Andray Blatche (signed as a free agent) is exceeding expectations by averaging nearly four more rebounds per 36 minutes (12.4) than his career rate through Saturday. This year’s pace by Blatche is good for 11th in the league among players who have played at least 100 minutes. Neither Evans nor Blatche has started this season.
Returning starting power forward Kris Humphries is hauling down a fourth-best 13.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, just above his Nets average of 12.2. But Humphries alone couldn’t prevent the Nets from finishing 27th in the league last year with a rebounding rate of 47.8%. Evans and Blatche have helped improve Brooklyn’s rebounding rate to a sixth-best 52.1%, a 3.4 percentage-point increase exceeded this year only by Golden State. The Nets record has improved dramatically, too.”
Moke Hamilton, NBA AnalystCredit Billy King, here. From day one, I thought Evans would provide the Nets with some much needed interior toughness, especially since that’s something Brook Lopez has historically lacked.
The solution, then, is to surround him with rugged rebounders and that’s exactly what the Nets have done. Being 6-2 is no accident, and though the road will get tougher for this team, they’re end up better than a lot of people outside of New York City think, and rebounding will have something to do with it.