Its Better Than You Think

As fans of basketball, or really as people, we’re often prone to understanding things in whatever manner is the simplest. While comparing raw statistics between eras in any sport, basketball or otherwise, is very difficult for a variety of reasons, it continues due to the ease of comparison. The logic holds that if Player A scored more points per game than Player B, then it could be inferred that Player A was a better scorer when in more accurate terms, an actual comparison could involve dozens of other factors.

Efforts have been made in the last few years to combat this thinking in the form of the creation of new stats. One such group of stats were the rebounding percentage stats. The internal logic was that teams playing at different paces would have different numbers of shot attempts a game, which would in turn mean different numbers of potential rebounds. Therefore, 2 players could both grab 10 rebounds, and one would be more impressive than the other for having done so. And given that pace adjustments can be made between eras, provided you know the pace index of the respective players’ teams, this was convenient.

It was with all that fresh in my mind that I went and looked up Dwight Howard’s total rebounding percentage for the playoffs this year. I knew it was high. I was right.

Through Tuesday, Dwight has posted a TR% in the playoffs of 26.16%, meaning at anytime in the playoffs when Dwight’s been in the game and a rebound has been grabbed, there was a 26.16% chance he was the one grabbing it. Wow.

In a moment of curiousity, I checked to see what the record was for a playoff series. I discovered something: the previous record is Dennis Rodman in 1995.

So Magic fans, tell your friends that Dwight might be rebounding better than anyone has before now so far in the playoffs. It is a statistical fact.

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