The Knicks are employing a strategy much of the NBA has abandoned and it’s helped fuel their surprising start


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The New York Knicks are off to a surprising 12-12 start to the season.
Part of their success has been their dominance in offensive rebounding, a strategy many teams have eschewed in recent years.
Offensive rebounds have helped the Knicks win some games, but there is also a strategic downside to it.

The New York Knicks are 12-12 and in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, a surprise to most in the NBA world.

The team appeared to be heading toward a long rebuild after trading Carmelo Anthony, and figured to struggle, with ESPN projecting them to win 32 games this season. Instead, the team has banded around Kristaps Porzingis and gotten strong play from a group of young and veteran role players.

Behind their hot start has been a surprising reliance on a somewhat antiquated strategy in the NBA — offensive rebounding.

Over the years, offensive rebounding has become less and less common in the NBA, as some teams have turned a blind eye toward it. This year, the Knicks are third in the NBA in offensive rebound percentage (ORB%) at 26.7%. The league-leading Denver Nuggets have a 27.2 ORB%. Compare this to five years ago, in the 2012-13 season when 27.2% would have ranked 13th in ORB%, or 15 years ago, when in 2002-03, it would have ranked 21st.

One reason the strategy has fallen off is the increase in pace and three-point shooting around the NBA. If one or two players crash the glass on offense and don’t collect the rebound, that team is immediately at a disadvantage, as the opponent can run back and get a fastbreak and spread the floor. Some teams eschew offensive rebounding to make sure they’re back on defense in transition and have a better floor balance.

So far, however, it’s working for …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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