|Game||Knicks missed shots||Knicks O-bounds||Knicks O-bound pct||Opponent missed shots||Opponents Obounds||Opponent O-bound pct||Differential||Result|
|San Antonio 11/15||46||12||26.09%||49||14||28.57%||-2.48%||Win|
|New Orleans 11/20||46||13||28.26%||40||5||12.50%||15.76%||Win|
I have heard it said that the Knicks, for all their successes, are losing the rebounding battle on the regular, in fact, I have heard that the Knicks are 27th in the league in rebounding differential. But this bothers me, because I have long realized that just looking at the raw number of rebounds doesn't really tell the story of what went on in the game.
Every time a team misses a shot, two things can happen: the opponent can rebound that ball (this usually happens, on average, about 70-75 percent of the time) or the team that shot the ball can rebound their own miss. The thing is, rebounding numbers per game don't take into account the amount of shots each team misses. If a team misses more shots, it will tend to inflate the other teams rebounding totals because there are simply more chances for the more likely defensive rebounds.
In the Knicks case, in 12 of their 21 games, they've missed more shots than their opponent. And yet, 10 of these games have been Knicks wins! Weird, huh? Well, not really. The Knicks tend to have significantly less turnovers than their opponents - resulting in more shot attempts - often resulting in more misses, and yet also more makes and more points. The greater number of Knick misses will usually result in more defensive rebounds for the opposing team. But this number is skewed because the opposing team also had more rebound attempts.
A far better measure of who won the rebounding war is to measure each team's percentage of their own missed shots that they rebounded. As you can see by the chart above, the Knicks have been outrebounded on the whole this season, but not by much. They were outrebounded in 4 of their 5 losses, but they also were outrebounded in 6 of their 16 wins - including a win against the Wizards where they were rather spectacularly outrebounded. A
fter being outrebounded in 5 of their first 7 games, the Knicks have only been outrebounded in 5 of their subsequent 14 games. And they have won the rebounding battle in their past 5 games, by my calculations. Even though the Knicks are probably the kind of team that emphasizes getting back on defense over offensive rebounding, (and this is something teams would tend to do when playing with a lead, as the Knicks often have been), they still have nearly broken even in the rebounding war overall, and since that Washington game, they've clearly come out ahead.
And given that they have been playing Carmelo Anthony at power forward, I'd say they've been holding their own. Anthony is a good rebounder for a small forward, but not all that great for a power forward. Getting Stoudemire back should help their rebounding, even though he's not the best rebounder.