A few days ago, NBCSports’ Chase Hughes analyzed whether the Wizards could struggle to rebound with the departure of Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers.
While I hate to pick on Hughes, whose work I enjoy and appreciate, aspects of his analysis were lacking on this one.
Westbrook, in particular, will be missed. He averaged 11.5 rebounds per game last season, ranking fifth in the NBA. He brought in more than twice as many rebounds as the next qualified player on the Wizards’ 2020-21 roster, Daniel Gafford (5.6). Repeat: more than twice as many.
Hughes went on to cite the team’s ranks in a couple rebounding stats over the past few seasons and then attributes that improvement to Westbrook.
I spot two flaws with what Hughes wrote. First, he seems to have arrived at the conclusion before looking at the evidence. And second, he omitted a critical piece of data.
That missing data point: the Wizards were no better rebounding the ball last season with Westbrook on the floor.