We’ve just got to rebound as a team. Everybody’s got to be in there to help defensive rebound. We can’t rely on one guy. —Jazz big man Derrick Favors
SALT LAKE CITY — Going into Saturday night’s game at Vivint Arena against the Oklahoma City Thunder, season statistics showed that rebounding was likely going to be a challenge for the Utah Jazz.
After all, the Thunder entered the night 13th in the league with an average of 43.9 rebounds per game, while the Jazz were 26th at 40.4. On the offensive glass, Oklahoma City came into Saturday leading the NBA with 12.1 per outing, while Utah was 24th at 8.5.
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder has acknowledged in the past that he prioritizes his team getting back on defense after missing a shot over going for offensive rebounds, but he was frustrated Saturday night after his team fell to the Thunder 103-89 that it grabbed just six of its own offensive rebounds while surrendering 15.
Utah entered Thursday allowing opponents just 8.8 offensive rebounds per contest, while Oklahoma City came in giving up 9.1. The Thunder wound up scoring 16 second-chance points, while the Jazz were credited with eight.
Despite the challenge his interior players had in trying to play defense and secure the rebound once All-Star Russell Westbrook got into the lane, Snyder said, “It wasn’t just that. It was collectively, I didn’t think we had enough — we weren’t determined enough on the glass. We weren’t determined enough offensively.”
“We’ve just got to rebound as a team," said Utah big man Derrick Favors, who secured half of the Jazz’s offensive rebounds on the night but was on the floor when Oklahoma City big man Steven Adams grabbed five of his game-high six offensive boards. "Everybody’s got to be in there to help defensive rebound. We can’t rely on one guy,” Favors said.
Rodney Hood said that crashing the defensive glass was an emphasis in the pregame scouting report, given that Westbrook and Adams are in the top 20 in the NBA in rebounds per game.
“That’s what they do,” he said, echoing Snyder’s notion that it’s tough to focus on both rebounding and defending dynamic scorers. “We’ll get better in that department. I think this game will make us better in that department.”
The Jazz will next face a Denver Nuggets team that is an even better rebounding squad than the Thunder, as they grab 45.1 per contest and allow just 40.9. That differential is second in the NBA, behind only the Philadelphia 76ers.