Every Last Smudge

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 3, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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By most measures — objective or otherwise — the Minnesota Timberwolves are among the worst teams the NBA has to offer. They have the league’s second worst offense and its fifth worst defense. Their rotation is a mess. Their system and personnel are an odd fit. Most everything on the court is a bit of a struggle, save for one particular dimension of the game: rebounding.

Minnesota is a top-five offensive rebounding team and a top-10 defensive rebounding team, which is fairly remarkable given their weaknesses in every other aspect of the game. Kevin Love is a huge part of their success on the glass, but contributions from Darko Milicic and Anthony Tolliver round out the Wolves’ rebounding numbers, and offer the franchise some small token of success amidst all their ineptitude.

That makes the Mavs’ performance on the glass Wednesday night all the more significant. Dallas out-rebounded their opponents on both ends according to the single-game rebounding rate. Not worthy of a commemorative plaque, but considering Dallas’ relative struggles on the boards (the Mavs rank 13th in the league in defensive rebounding rate and a horrible 24th in offensive rebounding rate), it’s a showing that warrants a moment’s notice.

Or maybe more than a moment in the case of one particularly exemplary rebounding performance.

Tyson Chandler came out of the first half with four rebounds, but somehow finished the game with 18. Nice, right?

Oh, one more thing: he didn’t play a single second of the fourth quarter.

Chandler grabbed 14 boards (10 on the defensive end and four on the offensive end) over an eight-and-a-half-minute stretch in the third quarter. It was a favor to Chandler that the Wolves are the fastest team in the league and managed to pull the notoriously slow Mavs into playing an uptempo game, but 14 boards are 14 boards. Even the healthy push of pace doesn’t devalue that kind of volume.

It’s not that Chandler did anything out of the ordinary. This is just one of those occurrences in which effort and luck formed that perfect cocktail, one which all of us on this side of the lines had the pleasure of drinking in. Eat, watch Tyson Chandler, and be merry, folks.