It’s easy to get caught up in the glamorous statistic of points per game when looking at G League players. But rebounding can be just as important, if not more. It can shore up a team’s defense and limit opponents to just the single look. On the offensive end, it can provide extra possessions, as well as free-throw opportunities.
The Wisconsin Herd led the way in the 2019/20 season, in terms of team rebounding. With 52.5 rebounds per game. The Delaware Blue Coats and Maine Red Claws fill out the top-3, with 49.6 and 49.3 rebounds, respectively.
But what about players? Below are the top-5 rebounding players in the G League throughout the past season.
23-year-old Ivan Rabb of the Westchester Knicks led the G League in rebounds per game, with 12.1. Offensively, he grabbed an average of 3.7 boards. Whilst knocking down 16.5 points, on 54.4% shooting.
The 6-foot-10 power forward/center is in his 3rd season in the professional ranks. Having previously represented the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA. He did have a two-way contract with the New York Knicks to start the 2019/20 campaign but was waived back in January.
In the G League, he’s had playing time with the Memphis Hustle over the course of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. Where he averaged 15.2 points/9.4 rebounds and 20.5 points/8 rebounds, respectively.
The Stockton Kings’ Eric Mika sits second in rebounding, with 12 per contest. He impressively led the G League, by quite a distance, in offensive boards. Collecting an average of 4.8. Alongside his rebounding antics, Mika dropped 18.8 points (60.3% FG) and 2.2 assists per game.
The 25-year-old has had an extensive professional career to date. Having played in Italy, Germany, and China. He’s had 3 stints in the G League, all with the Stockton Kings. In February 2020, Mika was called up to the Sacramento Kings, where he played in 1 game, against the Los Angeles Lakers. In that contest, he recorded 6 points and 7 rebounds, in 19 minutes.
Jemerrio Jones of the Wisconsin Herd actually topped the entire league in the total number of rebounds, with 504. When it’s broken down into averages, Jones sits third with 12. Possessing a well-rounded skill-set, the 25-year-old also recorded 10.8 points (55.4% FG), 4.6 assists, and 1.3 steals.
The impressive thing is with Jones, is that he’s a 6-foot-5 wing. Who hustled for 4 offensive rebounds each game. A category in which he, again, topped the league in terms of total numbers (169).
Before representing the Herd, Jones spent time with the South Bay Lakers. He was called up to the NBA in March 2019, with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 4.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals, in 6 contests.
Moving over to the South Bay Lakers, Devontae Cacok is fourth-best with an average of 11.9 rebounds. The 23-year-old rookie is second in the entire league in offensive rebounds, with a huge 4.2 each game. Along with his rebounds, Cacok averages 19.4 points, on 65.4% shooting. All in just 23.9 minutes per game. The lowest out of any of the players listed.
The 6-foot-8 power forward/center holds a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. He hasn’t had much call-up time to the NBA as of yet, and is yet to make his debut. But his time will most certainly come. His high-energy game mirrors that of Montrezl Harrell of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carrying on with two-way players, Zylan Cheatham of the New Orleans Pelicans and Erie BayHawks rounds out the top-5. With an average of 11.6 rebounds. On the defensive end, the 24-year-old rookie sweeps up everything. Sitting second in the league with an average of 8.4 defensive rebounds. In terms of total numbers, Cheatham sits second in the G League with 396 boards.
He also picked up 16.2 points per game, along with 2.8 assists, and just under 1 block. Cheatham’s G League efforts have been rewarded with 3 NBA appearances for the Pelicans. Where he’s averaged 1.3 points and 2 rebounds, in 10.3 minutes per game.
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