On ESPN.com, Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference investigates the relationship between a player's rebounding numbers and his team's rebounding numbers in search of players whose individual rebounding averages don't accurately reflect their contribution to their team's performance on the glass.
Portland Trail Blazers forward/center J.J. Hickson leads off his list of five overrated rebounders.
The following five players are examples of this phenomenon -- their individual rebounding numbers are impressive, but they don't seem to add much to their teams' rebounding performance when they're on the floor.
J.J. Hickson, Portland Trail Blazers
Superficially speaking, Hickson appears to be one of the league's best rebounders, averaging 10.8 boards per game (sixth-best in the NBA) with a 21.7 rebounding percentage (fourth-best). However, there's plenty of evidence that many of those rebounds have simply been stolen from his teammates, not opponents. Only Anderson Varejao and Reggie Evans have a bigger differential between their own rebounding rates and those of their teammates, but at least Varejao and Evans lead their teams to above-average rebound percentages while on the floor -- and improve their teams' rebounding when in the game. Despite Hickson's gaudy individual stats, the Blazers have a negative net rebound rate with him in the lineup, and they actually rebound at a better rate when he's not on the floor.
The Blazers have not issued a press release in response to the article with the words "double double" repeated 467,893 times but it could very well be coming.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter