Looking at five talented and often overlooked rebounders.
by Shlomo Sprung / @SprungOnSports
Every player has a role on his team. From the superstar to the 12th man on the bench, every member of every roster has specific instructions and tasks.
There are a lot of players in the League that don’t get their just due because of their roles. There are a lot of players in the League that don’t get the notoriety or the jersey sales of big-name players.
Let’s take a look at a five glue guys who don’t get much respect but do get a lot of rebounds. These ‘bounding machines all average less than 10 points per game but average at least eight rebounds per contest. These players may not stand out when you watch them play or even when you read the box score, but these five players are hugely important to their teams, mostly because of their board-hogging ways.
When you think of the Blazers, you think of Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, not Marcus Camby. The 36-year-old Camby still starts but is fifth on the team in minutes. But the Blazers would not be anywhere close to there current record without Camby’s 10.4 boards per game, good for first on the team and seventh in the League. He may not get all the publicity — he only scores just over six points per game — but he’s an integral piece of Portland’s puzzle.
While Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson and Antawn Jamison take care of the scoring load for the rebuilding Cavaliers, no one comes within four rebounds of Anderson Varejao’s 9.6 per game total. While he “only” averages nine and a half rebounds per game and isn’t a double-double machine like Kevin Love or Dwight Howard, he’s the team defensive and vocal leader with his box-out, hustle and flopping skills. Cleveland would be worse off without him, that’s for sure.
Kim Kardashian has noticed, so why haven’t most NBA fans found out about Kris Humphries’ ascent from irrelevant bench-warmer to an integral member of the Nets’ rotation. He’s seventh among New Jersey players in minutes per game and points per game (if you include Sasha Vujacic’s Lakers numbers) but even Brook Lopez doesn’t even come within three rebounds of Humphries’ 9.3 rebounds per contest. Just because he only scores eight points per game doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get some serious pub. He’s one of the top stories of the season so far.
LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire were obviously the most important offseason acquisitions, but Tyson Chandler’s acquisition is a major reason why the Mavericks are one of the top teams in the League at rebounding and scoring defense. He may only be fifth on the team in minutes per game (27.3) and points per contest (8.8), but his 9 rpg and 1.3 blocks per lead the team and set the tone for Dallas’s suddenly tough D.
With John Wall seen as the future of Wizards basketball and DC hoops fans rushing to stores to purchase their new Rashard Lewis jerseys and tees, people inside and outside the Beltway may not realize that JaVale McGee is becoming a beast on the boards. His 9.6 points per game is good for only seventh on the team, but his 8.2 rebounds a game are huge for Flip Saunders’ team because Andray Blatche is the only other player that averages more than four boards per game. Between holding down the glass and throwing down monster dunk after dunk, McGee has made himself into an integral part of Washington’s rebuilding effort.
So the next time you watch a game featuring one of these players or any other unheralded player, take a moment to appreciate what they do for their teams.