If you were to look at the boxscore of the Pistons game against the Magic tonight and saw that the Pistons shot 36%, 21% from 3-point, you'd probably think that it was basically impossible for them to win the game.

While the 21 TOs by the Magic certainly didn't do them any favors, the Pistons were able to grab a 15-12 offensive rebounding edge which they used to barely edge the Magic and go on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

I never get tired talking about rebounding. I wrote earlier in the year about Jason Maxiell and his offensive rebounding prowess. Antonio McDyess was the real hero of the game though nabbing a game-high 6 offensive rebounds, with 3 of them in the crucial 4th quarter,

Winning Those 1v1 Battles:

I love these pictures, because it shows the guys that are working hard in practice, bringing those habits into the game. Because that's all it is, the guys winning those battles in practice are the ones playing in the 4th quarter grabbing those huge offensive rebounds,

You'll notice in all of the plays above, the Magic defenders are actually in good block-out position in each one. In fact, the Magic are a really good defensive rebounding team overall, they did everything correct. McDyess and Maxiell are just really good at winning those 1v1 battles.

Much like shooting, I believe rebounding is another talent equalizer. You don't need to be amazingly athletic (though it helps), but if you work hard, learn the angles of where the ball is likely to go, you can be a good rebounder. As a coach, rebounding wins games, plain and simple. I never really used to value offensive rebounding very much until I coached a team that was a monster on the boards, and it wasn't due to their height. We won a lot of games that year due primarily to offensive rebounding. When our offense went sideways (which happened often that year; long story, email me for details) our offensive rebounding kept us on top. Went to the State Finals that year.


First, give the Orlando Magic a lot of credit. They never gave up and made things interesting. If they had won Game 3, maybe things would've been different. They have a lot to be optimistic about. They have the most dominant center in the NBA, the most important position. And I love Coach Stan Van Gundy. Everytime I watch and hear SVG, he reminds me of how a guy like you or me would coach in the NBA. He's like a blue-collar NBA coach, if there ever was one. I love Jameer Nelson partly because of his time at St. Joe's but they will need to make an upgrade at that critical PG position. They're like 2 players away from being a Championship contender.

As for the Pistons, they're on their way to their 6th Eastern Conference Finals, just an amazing accomplishment. They will play either the Celtics or the Cavs. As many have stated before, if the real Pistons show up every game, they will win the NBA Championship. They have defense, rebounding, balance on offense, chemistry, shooting; they really have no weakness other than their self-motivation.

If you're looking for more ideas to get your players to become better rebounders, I recommend taking a look at Tom Izzo's DVD on Rebounding and Man Defense. Coach Izzo is the long-time head coach of Michigan State. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.