The Sixers glass cleaning service
The Sixers are doing an excellent job of crashing the glass this season. Through the first half of the 2017-18 season, no team across the league’s landscape is rebounding the basketball better than the Sixers.
The Sixers – led by the glasswork of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons - lead the entire NBA in rebounds per game with 47.8. They lead the league in defensive rebounds per game (36.4) and are third in offensive boards per contest (11.4). They’re also tops league-wide in contested rebounds per game (16), and are out-rebounding their opponents by five per game, which leads the league.
These numbers represent an enormous improvement from just a season ago. In 2016-17 the Sixers were 23rd in the league in total rebounds as they averaged just 42.8 rebounds per game and they were in the bottom half of the league in both offensive and defensive rebounds per game.
Philadelphia’s improvement on the glass has been a big factor in any success that the Sixers have had this season. Their efficiency on the defensive glass limits second-chance opportunities for opponents (although they still allow 12.9 second chance points per game), while their tenacity on the offensive glass generates 14.2 second-chance points per game – good for sixth in the league.
Much of the improvement on the glass can be credited to Embiid, who is pulling down three more rebounds per game than he did last season. Ben Simmons addition into the lineup has made a big difference as well, as he has quickly established himself as one of the better rebounding guards in the league.
All in all, the the Sixers have five players that average over five rebounds per game, headlined by Embiid’s 10.9, which is eighth overall in the NBA. In addition to Embiid, Simmons (8.4 rebounds per game), Dario Saric (6.9), Robert Covington (6), and Trevor Booker (5.8) are all solid rebounders for their position. Out of all of the Sixers starters, J.J. Redick is the only below-average rebounder, but they didn’t bring him in to rebound.
The Sixers command of the glass during the first half of the season is a solid sign, as controlling the glass helps them to control the pace of play, and in turn, the game. They are well on their way to establishing themselves as a dominant rebounding team, now they just need to continue to get after it.
NBA.com was used for the statistics in this article.
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.