Lance Stephenson, Paul George Among NBA’s Best-Rebounding Wings
Lance Stephenson leads the NBA in triples doubles, and has generally become one of the better stat-stuffing wings in the league. He is averaging just 13.3 points per game on the year, but he easily leads the Pacers in assists per game with 5.2 a night and is in contention for second in rebounding with 6.7 per game. (David West is second with 6.9 rpg, trailing Roy Hibbert who hauls in 7.9 per night.)
Now, 13.3/6.9/5.2 isn’t exactly a LeBron line, but especially for someone who was a fifth option on the Pacers as recently as last season, it’s pretty damn impressive.
Of course, Paul George has been even better this season, and his averages of 22.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3.6 apg are tremendous in their own right, if not quite as balanced.
Each has more dynamic aspects of their game (George in his scoring and defense, Lance in his court vision and passing), but their ability to rebound has been instrumental in making Indiana the NBA’s best rebounding team.
But how great have they been? How does their noteworthy board work compare to their peers. Well, here’s a list of the 25 best rebounding wings in the NBA in terms of rebounding percentage.
But it really says something that Stephenson, who is significantly shorter than nearly all of the players ahead of him, ranks so highly. It should be noted that Stephenson has started “stealing” rebounds from teammates at a noticeable rate, seemingly trying to pile up his numbers. Still, I’ve only spotted it a few times (usually late in games when he is nearly another triple double) and it has been almost entirely harmless. And this only accounts for a tiny, tiny percentage of his boards.
Indeed, both of Indiana’s starting wings are among the league’s best perimeter rebounders. It’s stuff like this — as well as the efforts of Luis Scola — that helps the whole team be better and allows the Pacers to finish defensive possessions even when Hibbert lands out of position after challenging opponents at the rim.