Jeff Foster Could Out-Rebound the Floor
Everyone who follows the NBA closely knows that Jeff Foster is one of the best rebounders in league history, particularly when it comes to offensive rebounding. Looking at offensive rebound rate (a metric that since 1971 has recorded the percentage of rebounds a player gets while he is on the court and is the best measure of rebounding ability), only four players in NBA history have a better career percentage than Jeff’s 15.2: Jayson Williams, Dennis Rodman, Moses Malone and Larry Smith. And overall, factoring in both offensive and defensive boards, Foster’s 18.93 is the eight best total rebound rate since they started recording it. (Rodman is first with an absolutely insane 23.44.)
Not bad for a skinny old man with a bad back, eh.
Given this, it should come as no surprise that he is again among the league leaders in both categories this season. He is healthy for the first time in a few years, and it has shown just as much on the court as it has on the stat sheet.
What is fairly amazing, however, is that Jeff Foster, at the age of 34, is currently having a career-best offensive rebounding year. And with a current rate of 19.4, he is not just besting his previous career high of 16.9 — he is shattering it.
Obviously, Jeff hasn’t played all that many minutes this season (not even enough to technically qualify for the league leader in the category, a distinction that with no minute-limits would actually go to Dan Gadzuric and his gaudy 20.0 rate). So sample size is significant here. But still … Foster has twice previously lead the league in offensive rebound rate, first in 2006-07 with 16.5 and again in 2007-08 with 15.0 — and he is making those numbers look absolutely pedestrian by comparison.
Looking at another pace-adjusted measure of offensive rebounding proficiency, Jeff is posting 6.2 offensive boards per 36 minutes. This is nearly a full rebound better than his previous high of 5.3 per 36 and nearly a board and a half better than his career average of 4.8 per 36.
For further perspective on how insane these number is, note that Kevin Love, a guy currently averaging 15.5 rebounds per night, “only” has an offensive rebound rate of 13.9 and 4.7 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes.
At this point, it is essentially impossible for Foster to officially qualify as the league leader in offensive rebound rate, but if he somehow does and can keep up the same rate, he has a shot to post the best season ever recorded. (To qualify, he needs to either play 2,000 minutes or grab 240 offensive rebounds.)
For fun, here are the top 20 offensive rebounding seasons since the stat began being recorded in 1971.
Best of luck, Jeffrey.