2. Winner of the window likely will be winner of the game
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will go strength-on-strength Monday night on the glass.
The Nets enter play as the 10th-best offensive rebounding team in the NBA, gathering in 28.6 percent of the available boards off their own rim.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are the 11th-best defensive rebounding club in the Association, corraling 73.5 percent of the available missed shots by their opponents.
Brooklyn boasts Ed Davis, who has the highest offensive rebounding percentage in the NBA at 15.4 and averages 3.0 offensive rebounds per game. The Nets also have Jarrett Allen, who gets 2.6 offensive boards per night.
Boston attacks the glass with a gang mentality. No Celtic is averaging even seven rebounds per game, but eight players average at least four a night.
Their rebounding “leader” is Jayson Tatum at 6.5 per game, but they also have Al Horford at 6.3, Marcus Morris at 6.0, Gordon Hayward at 5.0, point guard Kyrie Irving at 4.9, Daniel Theis at 4.1 and Jaylen Brown at 4.0.
Injured center Aron Baynes averages 4.2.
The Nets’ improvement on the boards as this season has progressed has coincided with their turnaround in the standings, as they have gotten much more proficient of late at cleaning up their own defensive glass.
Through the first quarter of the season, Brooklyn had the third-worst defensive rebounding percentage in the NBA, but over the last 20 games has improved to 19th.
During their recent 12-3 stretch, the Nets are the second-best defensive rebounding squad in the NBA at 76.2 percent, trailing only the Utah Jazz. Through 21 games, Brooklyn’s defensive rebounding rate was just 69 percent.
So, yeah, a touch better at that now.
The growth of Allen as a rebounder has coincided with the arrival of Davis to Brooklyn as a free agent last summer.
Davis has been one of the NBA’s best rebounders for awhile and Allen has taken those lessons to heart.
To be fair, Davis has come off the bench in 287 games over that span to 170 for Kanter, but Kanter’s 7.7 rebounds per game as a reserve have come in average playing time of 21.3 minutes per game. Davis’ 7.3 average has been compiled in 19.4 minutes per game.
Rebounding is one of those fundamental things that can be overlooked, but as the Nets have shown over the last month or so, winning on the glass leads to winning a lot more games.