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Fantasy Football – Week 11 RB Rankings

November 19, 2009

Ray Rice

Ray Rice Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Ranks Preview by Andrew Thell

You never think it’s going to happen this late in the season, but once again the running back landscape dramatically shifted in Week 10. Brian Westbrook may be done for the season, allowing LeSean McCoy owners to finally cash in on their prized sleeper pick. McCoy should be started in nearly all leagues against a Bears defense allowing 118+ yards per game on the ground and looking soft in all regards.

The heavy workload caught up to Cedric Benson and the Bengals at last, making Bernard Scott a viable flex option at Oakland. His dancing running style leaves a lot to be desired, but Scott has a real chance to bust off a couple of long gainers once he breaks through the line.

Justin Forsett exploded for 149 total yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and 5 receptions and will start against the Vikings this week. Forsett is actually a decent play this week, too, with Julius Jones and his bruised lung out of the picture. The Vikes rush defense isn’t nearly as intimidating as it was the last three seasons and Forsett showed good burst to go along with some nice toughness.

Michael Turner went down with a dreaded high-ankle sprain and figures to miss a few weeks, making Jason Snelling the top waiver-wire pickup of the week. Snelling only churned out 61 yards on his subsequent 18 carries after the injury, good for a paltry 3.4 YPC, but he looked good doing it. He had a little burst, he ran hard and he showed good hands. Jerious Norwood isn’t ready to contribute much, so Snelling will continue to produce some useful fantasy value as long as Turner is out.

We hope you bought in on Chris Wells when you had the chance; do so now if it’s not too late. He’s clearly the superior rusher in the Cardinals backfield. He shows great burst and physicality on his carries, something the Cards could sorely use. The last four weeks he’s gotten 8 carries for 47 yards (5.9 YPC), 13 for 72 (5.5 YPC) and 16 for 85 with 2 TDs (5.3 YPC). The party continues this week in St. Louis where he should absolutely abuse the miserable Rams defense after the Arizona passing game gets them up early. There are some neutral matchups after that, but it doesn’t get any better than Beanie’s @ DET and vs. STL docket in the fantasy postseason. We fully expect him to be getting 15-20 touches a game at that point. He’s an ideal flex with an outside shot at RB1 upside.

Ricky Williams owners have been getting more than they bargained for all season, and now the 32-year-old has the potential to become the bargain of the draft. Word is Ronnie Brown will miss the rest of the season, but that won’t stop the Chad Henne-led Miami Dolphins from running the football all day with their ball-control offense. Ricky is poised to get 20+ touches a week from here on out and will assume Wildcat duties. He’ll draw a fine matchup against Carolina this week before drawing @ BUF, vs. NE, @ JAC, @ TEN and vs. HOU matchups the rest of the way. If he stays healthy Ricky is going to win a lot of imaginary trophies this year.

See also:
- Week 11 QB Ranks
- Week 11 WR Ranks
- Week 11 TE Rankings
- Week 11 DEF Ranks

1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans @ HOU
2. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BUF
3. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND
4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. SEA
5. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers @ GB
6. Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins @ CAR
7. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams vs. ARZ
8. Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers @ KC
9. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers vs. MIA (Check Status)
10. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints @ TB
11. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears vs. PHI
12. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals @ OAK (Check Status)
13. Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions vs. CLE (If not this week, then when?)
14. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS
15. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles @ CHI

Running back rankings 16 through 36, after the jump…

Read the rest of this article »

2 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Nov. 19, 2009 at 9:47am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 11 QB Rankings

November 19, 2009

Vince YoungRanks Preview by Andrew Thell

We recommended Vince Young as a sneaky play last week, saying, ” … there’s a decent chance Young puts up some rushing yards and scores on the ground against a Bills defense that has already allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and is ceding over 170 yards on the ground per game.” However, we still ranked Young modestly and were pleasantly surprised with his 210 passing yards and passing TD to go along with 29 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD. He’s an equally strong sneaky play this week against a Houston defense that’s better than Buffalo, but still gives up big plays.

Jay Cutler is a complete mess right now. He looks confused, flustered and undisciplined. He’s putting too much pressure on himself to make fine throws every down and not showing the maturity or thought process of a successful NFL QB. It’s a major step back for one of the league’s brightest emerging stars. There’s no reason to think the slide will stop this week either, as Philadelphia’s blitz-happy defense and strong secondary heads into town.

There’s not a lot of news on the QB front this week, and the matchups are pretty self-explanatory at this point, so without further ado …

See also:
- Week 11 RB Rankings
- Week 11 WR Rankings
- Week 11 TE Rankings
- Week 11 DEF Rankings

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints @ TB
2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts @ BAL
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. NYJ
4. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans vs. TEN
5. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals @ STL
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers @ KC
7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. SF
8. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers @ DEN
9. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles @ CHI
10. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals @ OAK
11. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings vs. SEA
12. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS
13. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans @ HOU
14. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND
15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks @ MIN
16. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. PHI
17. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons @ NYG
18. Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. ATL
19. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BUF
20. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers @ GB

Vince Young Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Nov. 19, 2009 at 9:42am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 11 Defense Rankings

November 19, 2009

James HarrisonRanks Preview by Brian Spencer

It’s hard to believe that we still have two offenses averaging less than 10 points per game: the Oakland Raiders are at 9.8, while the Cleveland Browns are somehow scoring even less at 8.7 per. Both units also average less than 120 total yards per game, which almost seems impossible when you consider that Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson is averaging more rushing yards per (121.2) than both of these embarassments do as a team. That should not happen at this level, but then JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn shouldn’t be starting quarterbacks either. (And Russell, having been benched for Bruce Gradkowski, no longer is at the moment.)

That anemic production vaults the Cincinnati Bengals DEF, currently ranked second stingiest in the NFL in allowing just 16.3 points per, to the top of our Week 11 rankings as they travel to Oakland. This is the kind of gimme that the Bengals of old would somehow find a way to lose, but they erased our lingering skepticism last week when they went to Pittsburgh and kept the Steelers out of the endzone in their 18-12 win. They might not blow the Raiders out, but the defense has a great chance for multiple sacks and picks.

As for the Browns, they head to Detroit for the most-anticipated game of the week, the loser of which will have the inside track on the first-overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. Woo! If you’re feeling crazy and have been clinging to and starting underperforming DEFs the past few weeks, feel free to roll the dice and plug in the Detroit Lions DEF as an uber-sneaky start. Everybody lights up the Lions, but the Browns won’t… right?

See also:
- Week 11 QB Rankings
- Week 11 RB Rankings
- Week 11 WR Rankings
- Week 11 TE Rankings

1. Cincinnati Bengals @ OAK
2. Minnesota Vikings vs. SEA
3. Pittsburgh Steelers @ KC
4. New Orleans Saints @ TB
5. Philadelphia Eagles @ CHI
6. Green Bay Packers vs. SF
7. Arizona Cardinals @ STL
8. New England Patriots vs. NYJ
9. Denver Broncos vs. SD
10. New York Giants vs. ATL
11. Baltimore Ravens vs. IND
12. San Diego Chargers @ DEN
13. Dallas Cowboys vs. WSH
14. Indianapolis Colts @ BAL
15. San Francisco 49ers @ GB
16. Detroit Lions vs. CLE (I know… but it’s the fucking Browns.)

James Harrison Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Nov. 19, 2009 at 9:38am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 11 TE Rankings

November 19, 2009

Kellen Winslow Jr.

Kellen Winslow Jr. Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Ranks Preview by Andrew Thell

Brent Celek is likely going to find his way into your starting lineup no matter what we say this week, but he is in line for a monster fantasy week. The Bears rushing defense is mediocre, but their secondary is in absolute shambles. Brian Westbrook has been Donovan McNabb’s favorite check-down target for years, but this week he’ll have to lean more heavily on Celek in the short passing game and around the endzone.

Here’s a sneaky play for those of you desperate at tight end: Detroit Lions rookie Brandon Pettigrew. We have him all the way down at 17 because you can’t expect prooduction from the rookie in this offense, but he’s being targeted more and more in the Lions passing “attack” and draws an excellent matchup this week at home against the Browns.

It’s a shame Jay Cutler is playing so poorly, because he’s dragging his good buddy Greg Olsen down with him. The Eagles defense and secondary is strong and Olsen has been doubled far more than we expected this season, but with the constant blitzes Philly employs you can expect Olsen to see a lot of single coverage and for Cutler to be checking down to his RB and TE often. Olsen cracks the top ten as a result, but we can’t put him any higher with so much in flux in Chicago.

See also:
- Week 11 QB Rankings
- Week 11 RB Rankings
- Week 11 WR Rankings
- Week 11 DEF Rankings

1. Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts @ BAL
2. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers @ DEN
3. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles @ CHI
4. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons @ NYG
5. Vernon Davis, San Fancisco 49ers @ GB
6. Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Bucs vs. NO
7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS
8. Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans Saints @ TB
9. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers @ KC
10. Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears vs. PHI
11. Dustin Keller, New York Jets @ NE
12. John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks @ MIN
13. Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings vs. SEA
14. Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders vs. CIN
15. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers vs. SF (Check Status)
16. Fred Davis, Washington Redskins @ DAL
17. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions vs. CLE
18. Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND
19. Kevin Boss, New York Giants vs. ATL
20. Tony Scheffler, Denver Broncos vs. SD
21. Ben Watson, New England Patriots vs. NYJ

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Nov. 19, 2009 at 9:37am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Jason Maxiell Will Not Be Posterized

November 18, 2009

We see far more NBA players getting dunked on than we see players blocking attempted dunks. It happens, sure, but rarely when the dunker has a full head of steam in the open court, and oftentimes there’s a foul involved either way. That’s what makes this clean, incredible block on Tuesday night from the Detroit Pistons’ Jason Maxiell such a thing of beauty. (Keep in mind that though he’s generally not much of a shot-blocking threat as an undersized 6-7 power forward, Maxiell does have a history of dramatic blocks.)

This one’s dirty, kids. Just dirty.

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Nov. 18, 2009 at 9:38am in ETB Articles

Allen Iverson Doesn’t Want It Too Cold or Too Hot; He Wants It Juuuuuust Right

November 18, 2009

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson Photo Credit: Icon SMI

By Brian Spencer

I’m diggin’ my grave, I’m diggin’ my grave
My road to hell is surely paved
With all the love that I never gave
I’m diggin’ my grave
Oh lord I’m diggin’ my grave

- William Elliott Whitmore, “Digging My Grave”

Allen Iverson has been called many things over the years, but never a quitter. Even his most dogged critics knew better than to go there. Throughout his career, Iverson has been unanimously recognized as one of the toughest players on the floor, a 6-foot lightweight who played like a man 5 inches taller and 25 pounds heavier. You could knock him down–repeatedly–but he’d always get back up. His capacity to lead on and off the court was questioned, and many have claimed that his defensive liabilities and his need to dominate the ball to be effective outweighed his strengths. But never has his will to win been in doubt.

Now, however, even his reputation for leaving it all on the floor seems like a fable from long ago. Now, after whining his way out of a bad situation in Memphis that never should have happened in the first place, we’re all left wondering who, exactly, this Allen Iverson is and what this Allen Iverson wants.

What does he want out of all this? What’s his end goal?

If he simply wants to be in the starting lineup and be a focal point of the offense, regardless of the team, he should have shut up and stayed in Memphis. Even a guy notoriously allergic to trivial dalliances like practice and preseason exhibitions has to understand that he needs to take part in at least some team activities before being handed a starting job and 40+ minutes a night. Maybe he was never going to get that in Memphis with youngsters like Mike Conley Jr. and O.J. Mayo in the mix, but he’s not stupid: he knows he was strictly signed as a sideshow attraction that would hopefully sell a few more tickets.

If he had put his head down and played hard during the minutes he was given–and he averaged more than 22 per right off the bat in the three games he did suit up for–head coach Lionel Hollins would have eventually had no choice but to start him and play him heavy minutes as the losses mounted and attendance dwindled to a trickle. If Iverson wanted this season to be about Iverson, a little patience, coupled with the hard work and fearless spirit he was once know for having, would have gone a long way towards making that a reality.

But, no. He couldn’t tolerate coming off the bench for three whole games after missing the entire preseason with a hamstring problem, so he took the easy way out and quit on the one franchise that threw him a bone when everyone else viewed him as an ugly, unwanted mutt.

If Iverson wanted to spend his waning NBA days legitimately competing for the championship ring that’s eluded him for 13 years, he could have toned back his combative rhetoric and let it be known that he was a team player who wanted to be a productive part of a winning cause. We’ve seen countless All-Stars on the wrong side of 30 take this route: Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace, hell, even Ron Artest (who turned 30 last week). Many felt that last year’s disappointing Detroit Pistons presented Iverson with a golden opportunity to embark on such a path, but we all know how that worked out and there’s no need to rehash it.

Piston players pinned the blame for their miserable season on desposed head coach Michael Curry, but he doesn’t deserve to be the only scapegoat. Iverson came to Detroit saying all the right things, but he left Detroit as a quitter who phoned in the most hollow performances of his career.

So he didn’t want to do what it took to win a championship in Detroit if it meant coming off the bench. And he didn’t put out the right message to the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, or Los Angeles Lakers of the world last summer when each was hunting for talented, veteran depth to add to their benches.

That pretty much exhausts the possibilities, right? He doesn’t want to earn a starting job, even if it’s there for the taking; he wants it gift-wrapped. He doesn’t want to come off the bench, be it for a bottom-feeder like the Memphis Grizzlies or a team entertaining championship hopes like last year’s Detroit Pistons did for a hot minute. He doesn’t want to sacrifice his pride and assume a supporting role… or, maybe he does, depending on his mood or the time of the day. Even God doesn’t know what to do with Iverson anymore.

If this is the end for Allen Iverson, it’s an entirely self-made one. He could have avoided this whole mess in Memphis and retired with his legacy still mostly intact and untarnished. He could have made headlines (and millions of dollars) in Europe and laughed at the NBA from across the Atlantic. He could have swallowed his bullshit pride and accepted a no-strings-attached role for a contender.

But he didn’t. AI has always done things his way, and he’s apparently going to keep doing them his way until the sad, bitter end. The ball is back where he’s always wanted it to be: in his court, in his hands. The difference is that now he might not have anywhere to go with it.

4 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Nov. 18, 2009 at 1:14am in NBA

Reading is Great! Today’s NBA Trade Rumors, News, and Updates on Sargent Slaughter

November 17, 2009

Reading is Grrrrrreat!

- Yahoo! Sports – The must-read final words on the SJax and Allen Iverson debacles.
- NY Daily News – Knicks beat writers have nothing else to write about (except LeBron), so…
- Full-Court Press – Who would you take: Mike Conley or Rodney Stuckey?
- TrueHoop – You know a trade rumor is juicy when Kenny Thomas is involved.
- Talking Points – Speaking of trades, looks like Monta Ellis is on his way out of GS.
- Third Quarter Collapse – Another season, another injury for Jameer Nelson.
- Sports Agent Blog – The Brandon Jennings Experiment gets an early grade.
- 3 Shades of Blue – The Memphis Grizzlies have a tendency to screw things up.
- The Sports Hernia – Goodbye Byron Scott, hello Sargent Slaughter.
- MSG – Because you’ve always wanted to see Danilo Gallinari eat Italian food.
- Hardwood Paroxysm – Carmelo Anthony has already had his shot blocked 22 times.
- The 700 Level – The clock is ticking on Samuel Dalembert’s days as a 76er.
- NBA FanHouse – The New Jersey Nets embrace their inner Detroit Lion.
- BallHype – Oh, that Ron Artest. Such a kidder.
- Stacheketball – James “Buddah” Edwards joins the NBA Mustache Hall of Fame.
- Ball Don’t Lie – I’m semi-embarassed to admit that I used to own this.

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Nov. 17, 2009 at 6:10pm in NBA

What Can Basketball’s Pythagorean Theorem Tell Us About the 2009-10 NBA Season?

November 17, 2009


By Zachariah Blott

Bill James, the godfather of Sabermetrics (the field that uses advanced math to analyze baseball), found a useful formula about 25 years ago. He discovered that a baseball team’s winning percentage could be estimated quite accurately by dividing runs scored, squared by the sum of runs scored squared and runs allowed squared. That is RS^2/(RS^2 + RA^2). This is called baseball’s Pythagorean Theorem.

Because points in basketball come about much differently than runs in baseball—what is the basketball version of a 6-1 blowout?—a formula to calculate winning percentage based on points scored and surrendered will be different.

Many mathematicians much smarter than me have looked at this over the years, and the exponent they found to work the best for hoops teams is 14 instead of 2. This means a basketball team’s expected winning percentage can be calculated with this formula: Points^14/(Points^14 + Opponents’ Points^14). Football’s exponent, by the way, is 2.4. These formulas with different exponents are still referred to as the Pythagorean Theorems of these sports.

The value of a formula that calculates expected winning percentage, when real winning percentage is already known, is in predicting future success. Teams that are doing much better than expected tend to fall down a bit after a while. Teams that aren’t winning as much as expected tend to improve.

The 2006-07 NBA season–regular and playoffs–provides some great examples of how this can work. The Heat were scoring 94.6 ppg, but giving up 95.5. Their expected winning percentage was 47%, but they actually won 54% (44-38). The returning champs got unexpectedly swept 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

Similarly, Dallas was scoring 100 ppg and surrendering 92.8 for an expected winning percentage of 74%. They actually won 82% (67-15), and also faced a shocking first round exit. On the other hand, the Spurs won 71% (58-24), but were expected to win 78% (98.5, 90.1). They of course cruised through the playoffs to win the championship.

Although the 2009-10 season is only about 10 games old, we can still look at which teams are winning at a clip above or below the expected rate, which might result in a dip or bump down the road.

Teams that should improve, fall, and other pythagorean theorem tidbits after the break…

Read the rest of this article »

2 CommentsPosted by ETB Contributor on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:32pm in ETB Articles, NBA

Seven Quick Questions with ESPN2′s SportsNation Co-Host Michelle Beadle

November 16, 2009

ESPN2 SportsNation

Photos Courtesy of ESPN

By Brian Spencer

We were flattered to be featured as the “Site of the Day” for the Friday, October 16, broadcast of ESPN2′s SportsNation, which has built up a relatively hardcore following in the 4 short months since it debuted. Credit some of the show’s success to its loose, conversational format that’s largely centered around fan-generated content (polls, Twitter posts, emails, etc.), but the driving forces behind its appeal are affable cohosts Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd, who do a fantastic job of keeping the show light and entertaining. (Recent Twitter posts include “Who do you want delivering your baby, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?” and “What does it say about the Skins that a fake FG helped them to their best offensive game of the season?”)

Beadle was kind enough to sit down with us over email for a quick Q&A and talk about her experience on the show, her days as a sideline reporter for the San Antonio Spurs, and more. She’s also the woman behind the curtain of the growing Akron Hammer movement. Follow her on Twitter here.

SportsNation airs from Monday to Friday at 4pm & midnight on ESPN2.

ETB: With about 4 months or so under your belt as co-host of SportsNation, what’s been most challenging about doing an hour-long TV show 5 days a week?

Beadle: Honestly, it has been so much fun I’d be hard-pressed to say anything has been too difficult. Our crew works hard, but it’s always a good time. The hardest part has been moving from New York to Connecticut. That is still taking some getting used to.

ETB: How has the experience so far matched up (or not matched up) with your expectations coming into it?

Beadle: It has been even more fun than I expected. I met Colin for the first time on the day of my audition. I’d been prepped for this “character” that I’d be meeting. And he is certainly a character. But the guy works hard, and has such a way of looking at the world. I’m happy with the freedom ESPN has given us to do this show the way we want to. Very liberating.

ETB: When did you first know you wanted to get into broadcasting? How has the sportscaster job description changed since your first gig?

Beadle: I honestly had no idea that I’d be doing this for a living. It all came about almost accidentally while I was interning for the San Antonio Spurs. I was given a shot to do a story for the team’s children’s show. I was horrible. But they gave me another shot, and as it turns out I loved it. I honestly haven’t seen too many changes during my time. People still expect you to show up, having done your homework and prepared for the job.

More from SportsNation’s Michelle Beadle after the break…

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No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Nov. 16, 2009 at 2:22pm in Interviews, NBA

The Worm: Good Times, Bad Times, You Know He’s Had His Share

November 13, 2009

By: Zachariah Blott

Dennis Rodman was born to reboundDennis Rodman has resurfaced again, this time playing in some sort of European streetball tour with other retired NBA players who need whatever money they can get, including Dee Brown, Tim Hardaway, and Oliver Miller. Rodman is looking … tired; is that a nice way of saying older? Either way, it got me thinking about how dominant of a rebounder he was back in the 90′s.

As a wispy 6-7, 210 pound power forward, this slippery son of a gun led the league in rebounding 7 straight years from 1991-92 through 1997-98. No one else has ever lead the league more than 5 consecutive seasons, and Rodman’s feat is even more impressive when you realize how dominant he was in this category during his stretch.

His averages ran as follows: 18.7, 18.3, 17.3, 16.8, 14.9, 16.1, 15.0. Last year’s league leader, Dwight Howard, is a powerful force of nature, with muscles bulging out of everywhere, who can dunk on a 12-foot rim. His 13.8 couldn’t touch any number from Rodman’s run. In fact, it barely tops Rodman’s career average of 13.1, which includes 4 complete seasons playing less than 30 minutes per game.

The Worm was routinely crushing the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and Dikembe Mutombo in their primes. And he was giving up 5 or more inches and 40-100 pounds to each of these Hall-of-Fame centers. These 5 household names combined to top 13 rpg only 5 times during Rodman’s 7-year reign, and their collective best was Shaq’s 13.9 as a rookie in 1992-93. Rodman was that singularly good at the mental skills that go into rebounding: perfect positioning, Mensa-level ball tipping and carom reading, and a fiery passion to risk his body in order to grab every ricocheted shot.

Dennis Rodman photo credit: Icon SMI

His off years weren’t too bad either. In 1990-91, he was second to David Robinson by 0.5 rpg while playing 4 less minutes each night. In 1998-99 at the age of 37 and with only 28.6 minutes of playing time per contest, he still grabbed 11.2 to Chris Webber’s 13.0, tops in the NBA. The next year was his finale and he only suited up for 12 games, but he still averaged 14.3 boards as he was on the way out as a Dallas publicity stunt (back when we didn’t yet know the name Mark Cuban).

The last players to have runs like this were Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, who played when shooting percentages were crap and each team basically had one designated rebounder: the center. Since then, Moses Malone is the only player close to what Rodman accomplished, and even he only topped 15 rpg three times in his lengthy career. Rodman ranks 10th all-time with his career 13.1 rpg, and he’s first among players who didn’t play in the 60′s or early 70′s.

It makes no sense that a guy built like a skinny Paul Pierce, who first played for an NAIA college at the age of 22, and who is certifiably insane got these types of numbers in five different teams’ systems. Then again, what about the guy does make sense?

Zachariah Blott cannot recommend Rick Telander’s “Heaven Is A Playground” enough.

5 CommentsPosted by ETB Contributor on Nov. 13, 2009 at 2:30pm in NBA

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