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Offensive Rebounding Could Keep OKC in Games in 2022-23 Season

Rebounding was one of the strengths of Oklahoma City last season, and with practically the same roster as last year can continue into this season.

Last season Oklahoma City was sneaky good in multiple under-the-radar in a few statistical categories last season.

Last season the Thunder finished 12th in the league in offensive rebounds after notching 10.4 per game. The Grizzlies topped the league in the category with 14.1 per game. Overall, OKC was sixth in the league in total rebounds per game.

Josh Giddey led the way for the main Thunder core with 1.8 offensive rebounds per game. Jaylen Hoard dominated the boards in his seven appearances with the team notching 4.3 offensive boards per game.

However, the offensive rebounding number sticks out to the eye. OKC struggled at times to shoot the ball efficiently, but with the 10.4 offensive rebounds per game, the Thunder were given second chances to finish possessions with points.

It’s also impressive OKC was able to finish so high in the league with an undersized lineup. OKC didn’t have a true center with Isaiah Roby and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl handling the significant role of the team’s center duties.

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This season, the Thunder brought in some young size with their four draft picks, and all of them — except Chet Holmgren — could impact the team at points over this season including on the boards.

OKC remains undersized in the paint, but it didn’t impact the teams rebounding abilities last season, so the team could see themselves in the same scenarios as last season ranking in the top 15 in rebounding in all categories.

The Thunder lost Roby this offseason, but brought in talented players who could help fill the void left. One aspect, which could possibly limit the number of offensive rebounds is the positive sentiment around the teams shooting improvements this offseason. If OKC shoots more efficiently it limits the opportunities for offensive rebounds. However, the team will still miss shots over the course of the game, and OKC has the talent remaining to continue to be dominant on both sides of the glass.

Even with a smaller lineup than most teams in the NBA without a true center, the Thunder could still remain top-15 in offensive rebounding this season, and even top-10 if they continue to trend forward. 

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