The Cleveland Cavaliers are among the league worst in offensive rebound rate, clocking in with a percentage of 22.87. This statement is unlikely to surprise given that this year’s crop is chilling in the cellar when it comes to almost every statistical measure known to man.
However, when you consider that the Cavaliers are surrounded by – when it comes to ORR – Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Boston, things may not seem so bad. It’s been a while since they were mentioned in similar breath. Even more surprising, through the 2010-11 season, the Orlando Magic pull down approximately 25.19 percent of offensive rebounding opportunities; nothing that would normally provide a large advantage over an opponent on a given night.
Unless said opponent is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Sunday night, the Magic finished their 103-87 win over the Wine and Gold with an ORR number of 45.3. Almost every other missed field goal was rebounded by a member of the Magic – Ryan Anderson (9) and Dwight Howard (6) combined for 15 offensive rebounds on their own. The Magic took 92 field goal attempts, sixteen more than the Cavaliers. The Cavs actually had better percentages across the board in this game and still managed to lose by 16.
Why? Because the Cavaliers – a team already swimming upstream with an insurmoutable talent gap – decided that they could skirt through this one by tallying an offensive rebound rate of… wait for it… 14 percent. Fourteen. Of the Cavaliers’ missed shots (something that there is a lot of these days), one out of every seven missed shots was touched by a member of the same team.
The 37-29 gap in total rebounds is expected when JJ Hickson is your starting center. The 24-6 gap in offensive rebounds is simply inexcusable. Typically, one would point to effort and pure hustle when it comes to offensive rebounds. Conversely, Byron Scott played the talent card.
“I don’t think it has to do anything with effort to be honest with you, I think our effort is there, said Scott postgame. ”We are playing some real good teams right now. We obviously have less talent with all the guys that are hurt and the guys who are playing some of them are hurting. It’s just a matter of still trying to figure out how stay close the first half of the game, because like I said it’s been like that for the last 5, 6, 7 games where all the sudden we’re down by 20 and then in the second half we’re trying to stage a comeback it just takes too much out of you.”
Only four players provided what could be considered an efficient game for Cleveland: Manny Harris (finishing with a team-high 20 points on 12 shots), Ramon Sessions (11.3 points “contributed” in 11.5 possessions), Anthony Parker (five points and six assists in 19 minutes), and Samardo Samuels (16 points on eight shots).
Antawn Jamison, Daniel Gibson and JJ Hickson combined to go 4-for-25 from the field, though Hickson did pull down 11 rebounds and block three shots in 22 minutes. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jamison’s 10 rebounds and and one blocked shot, but it’s admittedly tough given his 2-for-11 night and one-point, 0-for-7 first quarter.
The abovementioned Anderson and Howard combined for 43 points and 36 rebounds. Howard tallied a 20/20 game without even playing in the fourt quarter – the third time he has done such in his career; he’s the only player to achieve this feat at all, let alone three times. The Cavaliers managed to hold the Magic to 9-of-31 from the three-point line (a huge difference from the last time these two teams met), but it was all for naught.
The team heads to Miami tonight to “take on” the Heat as 17.5-point underdogs with 20 consecutive losses. Oh, and they’ll likely be without Gibson who tweaked the ankle that caused him to miss five games earlier in the month.
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)