Houston Rockets’ need #1: Rebounding machine
The Rockets’ defensive explosion this season has been a welcome change for a fanbase that grew accustomed to leaky defenses. While their vastly improved defense has grabbed headlines, there is one area that the Rockets still haven’t been able to solve.
The Rockets are still a below-average rebounding team and could use a true rebounding monster to sure up their defense and give them an edge on offense. On the season, the Rockets are snagging 76.9-percent of defensive rebounds which ranks 20th in the league.
The Rockets have experienced a real improvement from last season in the metric when they finished 25th in the league, but improving their defensive rebounding will only make their defense that much better. While there is room for improvement on the defensive glass, the Rockets desperately need to find a player that can snag rebounds on the offensive end.
One of the Rockets’ biggest issues on offense, outside of being able to put the ball into the basket, has been their inability to grab second chance opportunities. On the season, the Rockets have the fourth lowest offensive rebounding rate at 18.8-percent.
While offensive rebounds don’t seem like a critical part of offense, if you take a look at the teams at the bottom of the league in offensive rebounding rate it tells a completely different picture. The league average offensive rating this season has been 111.3 points per 100 possessions, no team currently in the bottom five of offensive rebounding rate has an above-average offense.
On the other end of the spectrum, no team in the top-five of offensive rebounding rate has a below league average offense. The basis for a good offense doesn’t center around offensive rebounding but being able to grab a few extra possessions a game off of misses adds up over the course of a season.
The Rockets need to be aggressive in their pursuit of a player that can help them on this end. When a team has great offensive rebounders they’re able to turn bad offense into easy buckets.
The Rockets have played poorly on offense this season. While fixing the offense should be at the top of their to-do list, they should invest in a player that can clean up their bricks in case the offense never gets rolling.