Pick, Blog and Roll

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Let's get (meta)physical

It's no secret that the Raptors need solid interior presence. They were destroyed on the boards last year, ranking 27th out of 30 teams. But does it follow that Toronto should use its #1 pick on a center, whether via the draft or trade?

Although the 2006 NBA finals feature two of the better rebounding teams in the league, rebounding differential is not as accurate a predictor of success as you might think.

Among the top 10 rebounding teams are Utah (2), New York (6), LA Lakers (7) and Orlando (8). Three of these squads didn't make the playoffs, and I only include the Lakers in the mix out of sheer amazement.

It is generally true that bad teams are poor at rebounding. But take a look at #28: the Phoenix Suns, over a full board per game under the lowly Raps. With Amare Stoudamire and Kurt Thomas back in the mix, it's logical to conclude they'll be better next year. But that's irrelevant to the Suns success (or lack thereof) in the 2005-6 season.

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