Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Danny

Defensive Rebounding Matters

33 posts in this topic

670_rebounding_130115.jpg

(Photo Credit: Joe Murphy)

Much has been written and will be written about the HEAT’s rebounding. Rebounding margin has reflected poorly on the HEAT this season, but we know that that stat doesn’t provide the context needed to properly assess the situation. That’s where rebounding percentages come in handy.

Rebounding percentages (sometimes referred to as rebounding rates) tell us how a team fares on the boards, independent of number of opportunities. Here’s a quick example: If there are 50 defensive rebounds available over the course of the game and the HEAT grab 38 of them while the opponent grabs the other 12, the HEAT will have a defensive rebounding percentage of 76 percent and the opponent will have an offensive rebounding percentage of 24 percent. It’s not too complicated, right?

The HEAT don’t place a huge importance on offensive rebounding. They prefer getting back on defense, limiting an opponent’s transition offense. If there’s an opportunity, they take it. But you’ll rarely see two players crash the offensive glass at the same time. So we’ll shift our focus to the defensive end.

As of the Utah game the HEAT rank 25th in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage. That alone may look like a red flag, but is it? To find out, we need to see who the HEAT have played and how many defensive rebounds they should have up to this point.

This is actually simple to do. To calculate this, we just pull up the HEAT’s schedule, find the opponents and look up their offensive rebounding rates for the season. Next, we’ll calculate the available defensive rebounds in the games actually played and compare how the HEAT did and how the raw numbers suggest they should have done.

Here are the results:

130115_forumpics_drebs.jpg

The two highlighted figures are the numbers to look at. The HEAT have come up 16 rebounds shy of where they’re projected to based on opponent. With the HEAT having played 36 games, it comes out to .44 defensive rebounds a game. That doesn’t appear to be anything worth stressing over.

Just in case the games against the HEAT inflated the opponents’ offensive rebounding numbers, I ran the same process while calculating opponents’ offensive rebounding percentages without HEAT games included. Using that method, I still came to the 1119 figure.

So, what does this all mean? Well, the HEAT are technically underperforming their expectations by a shade. Their current defensive rebounding percentage is 72 percent while their schedule projects them to be at 73 percent, which happens to be league average this year.

Last season, the HEAT rebounded 73.9 percent of available defensive rebounds, which would be good for 11th in the NBA this season. The difference between this season and last season is 30 defensive rebounds, or .83 defensive rebounds a game. That’s all. Less than one extra defensive rebound a game. That’s a bounce off of a foot, a weird carom off the rim or a random scoop in a scrum.

It is OK to be concerned about the HEAT’s rebounding. It is down from last season. But the data shows they’re right about where they should be so far this season, and within shouting distance of last season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are exactly where we need to be - getting out-rebounded by ~15-20 boards a game when playing teams that rebound well. This is rebound apologetics at it's finest - denial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are exactly where we need to be - getting out-rebounded by ~15-20 boards a game when playing teams that rebound well. This is rebound apologetics at it's finest - denial.

I'm not sure where I'm in "denial." Sure, the HEAT's defensive rebounding could be better. It just hasn't been as bad as people make it out to be. A couple of bad games the last couple of weeks just make it seem like a huge issue. Also, being "outrebounded" doesn't matter to the HEAT and shouldn't matter to you. Rebounding margin is fairly useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's more fun to freak out then to stand behind your team it seems.

Who's freaking out? I'm concerned...you know? The way we all are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rebounding margin is fairly useless.

Really? Why is that the last 14 NBA champions have been top 10 in rebounding margin at least? I'm not saying rebounding the ball was the sole reason those teams won but pretending like rebounding isn't a big factor in winning championships is blatantly false. I don't think Riley was just messing around when he said "No Rebounds, no Rings."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were in the top 10 in rebounds last year?

We were #6 in rebounding differential last year. So yes we were top 10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think MIAMI is capable of curing it's rebounding woes. There's too much pride in that locker room for those champs to go out like chumps. I'm going to go out on a limb and say MIAMI will start to shift gears after the all-star break, and all of this terrible road play, lack of rebounding, and whatever else the pundits say about MIAMI in it's current state, will be an after thought...TEAM HEAT since '88!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well aren't those two different categories?

Yeah but rebounds per game is a useless stat that doesn't take into account pace or how well you play defensively or how bad you play offensively, which both can increase your raw rebounds per game. Rebound rate and rebounding differential give you a better idea of how well you're doing on the boards compared to other teams and your opposition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't fret too much about these issues. I know the team will look and play vastly different by the time the playoffs are approaching.

Health is the most important thing we need to monitor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't fret too much about these issues. I know the team will look and play vastly different by the time the playoffs are approaching.

Health is the most important thing we need to monitor.

I don't think you were around in the 06 07 season. Sometimes you can't "flip the switch" come playoff time. Gotta develop good habits in the reg season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you were around in the 06 07 season. Sometimes you can't "flip the switch" come playoff time. Gotta develop good habits in the reg season.

Yeah, health was a BIG concern for the 07 team.

aaaaaaaaaaaaand, we have "flipped" the switch so to speak each of the past two years....so who is it that hasn't been paying attention?

But believe what you want, I was not "around" back then. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but rebounds per game is a useless stat that doesn't take into account pace or how well you play defensively or how bad you play offensively, which both can increase your raw rebounds per game. Rebound rate and rebounding differential give you a better idea of how well you're doing on the boards compared to other teams and your opposition.

Just rebound rate. Don't use the differential. For the HEAT, who totally disregard the offensive boards, just use defensive rebounding rate. Like I said in the piece, the HEAT are behind where they want to be, but it's not be a whole lot. The HEAT have the same defensive rebounding percentage as the Clippers. A few more games like tonight and they'll be right back at league average. The problem is, for the most part, all the rough games happened in a short stretch that occurred recently. That skews our perception of things. The HEAT had a string of bad rebounding games, just like there will be a string of bad shooting nights, lacking defensive effort or faulty ball-handling. These things happen to every team in the league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you were around in the 06 07 season. Sometimes you can't "flip the switch" come playoff time. Gotta develop good habits in the reg season.

The HEAT didn't have the best player in the NBA then. And Dwyane Wade got injured. There were a lot of things that are different between 2007 and 2013.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Danny my man, always coming in and dropping knowledge. That's what I like about ya. If only everyone was as level headed as you. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Danny my man, always coming in and dropping knowledge. That's what I like about ya. If only everyone was as level headed as you. lol

If things were bad, I'd say so. When I say I'm 0.0% concerned about this HEAT season, I'm not exaggerating for anyone else's benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frustration with losses is understandable. Fans care, so they have every right to be upset when the team loses. However, I try to maintain some big picture perspective here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not the fact that they're upset when the team loses. It's the fact that even when things are going good they have to complain about something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT defeated the Raptors 104-89 in their last meeting on March 11. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What did the HEAT do well to get back on track against the Suns?
      Couper Moorhead: They played defense. Granted the starters came out a little slow on that end but once the bench unit was in towards the end of the first quarter the Suns were held to an offensive rating below 90 the rest of the way. Phoenix isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse this time of year – Eric Bledsoe is being held out – and had plenty of unforced turnovers of their own but the opponent isn’t always the most important thing when it comes to getting back to your own established habits. Miami probably could have beat the Suns on Tuesday with scoring alone, but working on their game will help them in the long run with tougher opponents coming up.
      Joe Beguiristain: After a slow start to the contest, the HEAT got things going in the second quarter to take control of the game. In particular, Wayne Ellington caught fire towards the end of the period and helped Miami jump out to a 13-point lead at halftime. From that point on, the HEAT locked-in defensively (especially Hassan Whiteside) and held the Suns to just 39.5 percent shooting. Other than Whiteside, both Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson defended Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker quite well. In fact, Johnson led the team with five steals and helped Miami get some easy buckets in transition (the HEAT ended up with 19 fast break points on the night). In other words, Miami took care of business on its home floor against a depleted Phoenix squad. 
      2: Since Toronto didn’t have Kyle Lowry in the last meeting, what can we take away from that game?
      Couper: That the Raptors, despite an impressive comeback win over Chicago on Tuesday, miss Kyle Lowry. Last time these teams played the Raptors were playing on a back-to-back, which is always a factor, but despite a 26-point first quarter the Raptors never really seemed to get much of an offensive rhythm going as DeMar DeRozan was asked to do a ton of shot creation. Through the first three quarters, before the Raptors essentially played their bench the rest of the way, Toronto’s expected effective field-goal percentage, based on shot quality, was 47.6 – a number that would rank last in the league.
      Additionally, Toronto will be without the services of Serge Ibaka on Thursday. Ibaka was given a one-game suspension after an on-court incident with Robin Lopez on Tuesday.
      Joe: In that last matchup, the HEAT dominated the Raptors in nearly every facet. Six players scored in double-figures for Miami, while the team also held Toronto to just 37.5 percent shooting. Like Coup stated above, the Raptors did have some trouble initiating offense with Lowry out.
      As a whole, Toronto’s offense has dipped with its floor general out of the lineup. Before the All-Star Break, the team ranked fourth in offensive rating at 110.9 points per 100 possessions. In the 14 games since then without Lowry, the Raptors are ranked 16th with a 105.7 rating. Luckily, their defense has improved enough for them to go 9-5 since the break. New addition P.J. Tucker has had a lot to do with that, as the versatile forward is holding the opposition to 6.5 percentage points less than their usual field goal percentage since joining Toronto. We’ll see how things transpire on Thursday night.
      3: If Miami is without Hassan Whiteside (hand laceration), how will Miami adjust?
      Couper: Likely as they always have this season, with Willie Reed starting and heavy doses of James Johnson as a small-ball center. This isn’t the easiest matchup for that configuration considering Jonas Valanciunas is a load to deal with and Toronto can put out just as many versatile lineups as Miami with Ibaka, Patrick Patterson and new arrival P.J. Tucker. Even if Ibaka isn’t available, the Raptors can still play small with Miami. And of course Udonis Haslem is always an option, one that Erik Spoelstra can trust to adhere to the defensive system as well as anyone.
      Joe: If Whiteside can’t play on Thursday night, we’ll likely see Willie Reed in the starting lineup. In his five starts this season, Reed has averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game on 68.6 percent shooting. After practice on Wednesday, the 26-year-old stated that his role doesn’t change in the starting lineup and that it’s still about bringing energy.
      “It’s not about the points. It’s about the energy that I can bring to the team, you know, holding down the inside [and] the paint, rebounding and trying to provide what Hassan provides.”
      Things will be tough with a skilled big in Jonas Valanciunas on the other side, but Reed has the mental makeup to get the job done.
      INJURY UPDATE: Coach Spo said Whiteside (hand) was a full participant in Thursday morning's shootaround and still intends to play.

      Highlights:
      March 11-Raptors at HEAT
      November 4-HEAT at Raptors
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won three of four and are 35-36 on the year. The Raptors have won four of five and stand at 42-29. Miami is 16-3 at home in 2017. DeMar DeRozan leads Toronto in scoring at 27.0 points per game.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 105.1 (17) HEAT Defense: 104.0 (5) Raptors Offense: 109.9 (5) Raptors Defense: 105.3 (10)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      At 3:30 PM EST, I will ask a trivia question for a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Raptors. Please keep in mind that you must be at least 18-years-old in order to qualify and must reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe County. Also, you are ineligible if you've already won tickets this calendar month.
      Please only play/answer if you can attend and qualify based on these rules.
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-97 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 23 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com. 
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT fell to the Suns 99-90 in their last meeting on January 3. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What did you take away from Miami’s loss to Portland on Sunday?
      Couper Moorhead: That Damian Lillard is incredible, mostly. Watching Lillard expertly navigate the pick-and-roll, pulling up for effortless split-second threes and then threading passes to a rolling Jusuf Nurkic when Miami attempted to pressure higher on the floor was reminiscent of Steph Curry last season. Of course we can’t make that comparison if the shots aren’t falling as well and Lillard delivered with 9-of-12 from three and 49 points on 21 shots. In short, it was as good an offensive performance as you’ll see all year and a surprisingly energetic defensive one as well, especially considering Portland was on a back-to-back.
      On Miami’s side, their defense wasn’t quite as active as it had been lately and a number of players being in foul trouble didn’t help, but in the bigger picture it was clear there might be a bit of an adjustment period to playing without Dion Waiters. We’ll get to that in a moment.
      Joe Beguiristain: While the HEAT played well offensively for the most part, their defense wasn’t quite up to par. In particular, Damian Lillard had one heck of a performance, as he nearly tallied a career high and finished with 49 points on 14-of-21 shooting. Although the HEAT could have done a better job of defending him in the pick-and-roll, Lillard was in such a zone that it might not have made a difference.
      That said, Miami understands that it needs to get back to its identity and lock-in on the defensive end. From Erik Spoelstra to James Johnson, that message was echoed often after practice on Monday. With Phoenix struggling mightily on the offensive end as of late (especially with a bunch of key contributors out of the lineup), expect the HEAT to apply a lot of pressure from the get-go.  
      2: What changes have there been to the Suns roster lately?
      Couper: There’s been quite a few. Eric Bledsoe has been shut down for the rest of the season, as has Tyson Chandler. Brandon Knight has been experiencing back spasms and, as of now, doesn’t appear to be expected to play. Dragan Bender had ankle surgery in early February and has yet to return. And Devin Booker has also had an ankle injury and its unclear if he’ll be able to play Tuesday night. However you slice it, this isn’t going to be the same Phoenix team that beat Miami back in early January.
      Joe: Coup pretty much hit the nail on the head. The Suns have a multitude of guys either shut down for the season or nursing injuries. As such, Head Coach Earl Watson rolled with a starting unit of Tyler Ulis, Derrick Jones, T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss and Alen Len in Phoenix’s last game against the Pistons on March 19.
      Of those players, Warren and Chriss have been mainstays in the starting lineup for most of the year. Not to mention, they’ve also stepped up in the absence of a lot of the Suns’ playmakers. In fact, Warren is averaging 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game on 58.3 percent shooting since the All-Star Break. Chriss meanwhile, is posting 12.0 points, 5.3 boards and 1.8 blocks per contest on 52.2 percent shooting over that same timespan. 
      3: Are there any further adjustments you expect Miami to make with Dion Waiters out?
      Couper: Miami still managed to post 110.9 points per 100 possessions against Portland, but there clearly wasn’t as much of a rhythm or flow to the execution as there had been for most of the past two months. Just 43 percent of the HEAT’s baskets were assisted as whenever Goran Dragic was off the floor the offense often became James Johnson attacking from the perimeter and bullying his way to the rim. Johnson did that quite well, shooting 9-of-13, but it’s also the type of offense that becomes easier to defend the more often it’s used and more predictable it becomes. Not only did Miami miss Waiters’ dribble-penetration, spray passing and ability to space the floor off the ball, but he also gives Erik Spoelstra a playmaking option to stagger with Dragic so that, along with Miami’s bench, there are always multiple ballhandlers on the floor. Moving forward, we may see Spoelstra experiment a bit with the rotation to try and keep the ball moving. Or, as is often the case, Miami will simply have to be better on that end and work harder to adhere to their habits without one of the players who makes things work.
      Joe: In addition to getting back to their defensive principles, I expect the HEAT to try and get the ball moving a bit more on offense. After dishing out 29 assists in an offensive explosion against Minnesota, Miami had just 18 against Portland. Keep in mind that when the HEAT tally at least 26 assists, they’re 7-3 this season.
      You know Goran Dragić and James Johnson are going to attack the paint and collapse the defense, but Miami’s other wings also have to do their part and help set up their teammates too. Luckily enough, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson have had their moments over the past few weeks. T. Johnson tallied a career-high nine assists against the Pelicans on March 15, while Richardson has gradually improved since his return to the lineup from a foot injury. We’ll see if both guards can create a little bit more off the dribble to make up for the absence of Dion Waiters. 

      Highlights:
      January 3-HEAT at Suns
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won two of three and are 34-36. The Suns have dropped four straight and enter the contest at 22-48. Goran Dragić leads Miami in points (20.3) and assists (6.0) per game. Alex Len leads Phoenix with 1.2 blocks per contest.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 105.1 (16) HEAT Defense: 104.3 (6) Suns Offense: 103.8 (23) Suns Defense: 108.8 (26)  
       
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      At 3:45 PM EST, I will ask a trivia question for a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Suns. Please keep in mind that you must be at least 18-years-old in order to qualify and must reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe County. Also, you are ineligible if you've already won tickets this calendar month.
      Please only play/answer if you can attend and qualify based on these rules.