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Thunder having trouble on the glass

Despite being 4-1 in its past five games, the Thunder still has issues with defensive rebounding.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, Modified: December 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm •  Published: December 14, 2010

“The rebounding is the end result of the whole possession,” said forward Nick Collison. “So if we can avoid a lot of breakdowns, it's easier because we can stick to our own man and box out when we know where they are. Whereas if two or three guys are having to help on a certain possession, it breaks down box outs.”

In their 99-98 win over the Thunder on Nov. 28, the Rockets corralled 16 offensive rebounds. Houston, like Chicago last Monday, also benefited from having eight out of 10 players who played grab at least one offensive rebound. The Rockets have two players, forwards Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes, who average two or more offensive rebounds.

“They're a great offensive rebounding team,” Durant said. “They hurt us last game. But I think as wing players, we've got to do a better job of helping our bigs out. They're fighting to keep them off the glass. That's when we've got to come in and swoop them rebounds up.”

Gasol's pivotal putback last spring demonstrated the importance of preventing offensive rebounds. The Thunder grabbed 11.7 offensive rebounds last season, ranking in the top 10. But this season, OKC has pulled down just 10.4 offensive rebounds, which through 23 games had helped opponents attempt more shots and outscore the Thunder.

“We don't have that dominant rebounder. But we don't need that because everybody rebounds,” Brooks said. “When we're really engaged in what we do, I feel that we're always going to get the rebound.”