Are 3-pointers killing Offensive Rebounding?

Offensive Rebound Rebound Percentage

Offensive Rebound Rebound PercentageThere is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Playoffs Hinge on a Lost Art: Rebounding”.  The gist of the article  is that the decrease in offensive rebounding is linked to the ever-increasing number of three point shots taken by NBA (really all levels).  This phenomenon shouldn’t be surprising for a number of reasons:

  1. More teams playing “small-ball”.
  2. More stretch 4’s and 5’s playing away from the basket and not being in advantageous offensive rebounding positions
  3. More coaches sending all players back on defense on shots for fear of giving up open treys at the defensive end.  Many good coaches find ways to prevent transition layups but even these coaches struggle with preventing good looks from the arc.

While traditional offensive rebounding is vanishing in some ways, the “new” offensive rebound is of the “long” variety caused by the inherent physics of the longer triple attempt (every action having an equal and opposite reaction).  While that “law” isn’t foolproof in basketball, there is no denying that longer rebounds go hand-in-hand with three point attempts.  The dilemma for each coach is should his team actually “hunt” long rebounds or just get back on D and only take the long rebounds that come their way coincidentally.

Certainly, each coach makes decisions founded in personal philosophies as well as current personnel.  I had to laugh when former NBA player, Chris Dudley, himself a good offensive rebounder was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article, “You want to play to everyone’s strengths.  You don’t want to tell Moses Malone to get back on defense.”  Conversely, one probably wouldn’t always send 4 non-rebounders to the glass.

The article goes on to say that the Chicago Bulls’ current 2-0 series lead over the favored Boston Celtics is the result of superior offensive rebounding.  Not every team is abandoning the offensive rebound- note NCAA National Champs, North Carolina.  Roy Williams is adamant about that phase of the game.

But, the vanishing offensive rebound is a real trend in today’s game and is another way for each coach to use that particular lens to formulate thinking and plans for the next season.  

 

Originally posted 2017-04-30 22:34:09.

3 Replies to “Are 3-pointers killing Offensive Rebounding?”

  1. The article rings so true, I recently took my grandson to a Pistons vs Wizards game in DC. On the offensive end of the floor every time one of the Pistons players put the ball up there was either zero or one offensive player on the pounding the glass. In general, it seems as a team begins to get behind in the score there are less and less offensive rebounds, right when they need it most. Seemingly no one on the bench or in the games seem to care. When a team is trying to get back in the game quick launching the long ball, most of the time it seems to put you behind deeper. It is also so disheartening to see a team down the stretch, continue to try and get back in the game with the long ball. When all game long it is exactly what put them in the hole in the first place. When I see players in games launch these long balls with no one near the offensive boards my old school brain just starts to resist the fact that this seems to be a reality of the new game. My mind cannot get around the fact that it is ok for there to be few offensive rebounds and few put backs. Another example of the Art of the game disappearing or being co-opted by this new acceptance. Coach it is always great to read what you have to say and where appropriate try it out, with my two Haley-Smith squads in Herndon Virginia. From a former player on your 72-73 second division runner up Catholic league and State of Michigan Class D District

  2. This article rings so true, I recently took my grandson to a Pistons vs Wizards game in DC. On the offensive end of the floor every time one of the Pistons players put the ball up. There was either zero or one offensive player pounding the glass. In general, it seems as a team begins to get behind in the score there are fewer and fewer offensive rebounds, at the time when they need more offensive rebounds. Seemingly no one on the bench or in the game particularly seem to care. When a team is trying to get back into a game quickly, launching long ball after long ball. Most of the time it seems to put you behind further. It’s also disheartening to see a team down the stretch in a game, continue to try and get back in it with the long ball. When all game the long ball is exactly what put them in the hole in the first place. When I see players in games launch these long shots with no one near the offensive boards. My old school brain just starts to resist the fact that this seems to be a reality of the new game. My mind cannot get around the fact that it is ok for there to be few offensive rebounds and few put backs. As you say another example of the Art of the game disappearing or being co-opted by this new acceptance. Coach it is always great to read what you have to say and where appropriate try it out, with my two Haley-Smith squads in Herndon Virginia. From a former player on your 70-71 second division runner up Catholic league and State of Michigan Class D District Championship team. All the best Coach!

Any Thoughts, Coach?