This article is part of our Numbers Game series.
A few weeks ago, I showed that opponent rebound percentage has a big impact on the performance of the players who grab a lot of boards. It was one of the most conclusive findings I've been able to make since the launch of this column. Yet, it left me unsatisfied. Surely there must be more to life, I mean rebounding, than opponent rebound percentage? The connection was established, but there must be other factors that can help us predict successful rebounding, right?
Specifically, I wondered about missed shots. The Knicks miss seven more shots per game than the Jazz. The Rockets miss twice as many threes as the Spurs. Logically, extra misses should mean more rebounds, but I'd rather know something than assume it. If we focus only on rebound percentage, are we missing something important?
What are we looking at?
For this analysis, it only makes sense to look at top rebounders. When making a fantasy decision about Nick Young or Danny Green, managers look at the opponent's history against three-point shooters, not rebounds. By focusing our analysis, the results are more likely to be helpful.
We are focusing on the 44 players who average at least seven rebounds per game. The list is mostly power forwards and centers, and includes a representative from every team except the Celtics. And, important, the list is loaded with players like Al-Faouq Aminu, Bismack Biyombo and Taj Gibson – players who are on the fantasy radar, but not obvious every-night starters.