Knicks Focus on Defense; Focus Should Be Offensive Rebound Battle

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Instead of using my calculator, I will look at basic numbers.

Rebounding is a misleading stat in the sense that the Knicks have won games this year despite being outrebounded. Minnesota, the Clippers, Charlotte and Sacramento are all around or (well) below .500, and are in the top 10 in rebounding differential. The Celtics are 2nd worst in total rebounds per game.  I think it’s far less about defensive assignments, which certainly are important, and more about limiting second possessions. The Knicks were -6 last night in the offensive rebounding category. Think about it. An offensive rebound (which can be an easy put back for 2 points) gives you another possession. The average NBA team shoots 46% from the field, which is to say they score about 1 out of every 2 possessions. To allow 6 more possessions on offensive rebounds alone puts you in a severe disadvantage in a game that was at most a 3 possession-game (7-9 points) and was pretty much a 2-possession game or less.

If there’s one constant, to me, as it relates to wins and losses it’s field goal percentage differential, or the largest margin between your team’s % and what you hold your opponent to. Miami, Boston, Chicago, Lakers and Magic are all at the top of the league.

The Knicks are allowing 46% and shoot 46%. The heat, the league’s best are shooting 47.6% and are giving up 43%

Trying to get “stops” is great in theory on defense in the 4th quarter, it often wins games when game stats are basically equal throughout the course of the game. But would you have to get stops against an inferior team  if you didn’t give up 6 more offensive rebounds than you obtained throughout the course of the game?

The Knicks lost the offensive rebound battle by 5 against the Bucks and still won. Why? Because Tony Douglas made shots and the bench scored 34 points combined…22 more than they scored against the Cavs last night. Second possessions puts pressure on other players to make shots.

Say what you want about Jeffries…the guy gets you on average 2 offensive rebounds per game and has for his career. He’s inportant to this team because they play at a pace that gets them more possessions, but on the flip side they are allowing the other team to get far too many more as well.