Rebounding is a huge problem.
The offensive rebounding count was 22-6 in favor of the Pelicans. That is a 16-rebound disparity, which means the Pelicans earned 16 more possessions in the game. Sixteen possessions were quite possibly the difference-maker in the Thunder’s loss.
“All five guys have to get in there and account for their guy. It’s not one guy for them rebounding, and it’s not one guy for us tasked with blocking out,” Mark Daigneault explained post game.
OKC played their usual small-ball lineup in most of the second half, trading off height for speed that went to naught in the end.
Chet Holmgren, their lone big in the starting lineup, had the most rebounds for the Thunder with 11 in the game, along with 19 points and two blocks.
There was no answer to the Pelicans’ big men Jonas Valanciunas, Zion Williamson, and even guard CJ McCollum, who had 11 rebounds in the game.
A little more effort was left to be desired from the OKC crew, which prides itself on their gang rebounding after playing mostly small last season.
The OKC Thunder will get a lift on the glass when Kenrich Williams and Jaylin Williams return to the fold. While they might not rack up high rebound totals, they fit the team-style of rebounding better with post positioning and the ability to box out and allow the guards to swoop in for the boards.
Ultimately, no matter who is out there, the OKC Thunder have to do a better job at hauling in rebounds. The Thunder