Be like Dennis?

I’m sure you all remember the glory days of the NBA. Michael Jordan and the Bulls were a true dynasty that provided some of the greatest memories the NBA has to offer. Guys like MJ, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman all compartmentalized their game to form a near unbeatable team during the mid-to-late 90’s. MJ was, well, MJ. Pippen was the ultimate sidekick who seemed to do everything right. And Rodman was like Mr. Clean when it came to keeping the glass shining (Too corny?)

Well unlike the Bulls, the Wolves are obviously missing some pieces (i.e. the MJ and the Pippen). But in Kevin Love, the Wolves have a Rodman-like rebounder that plays a huge advantage in their favor.

Rodman had a brilliant career. He had a minimal post game to speak of, if any at all, but his job on the court wasn’t to score anyways. His role was to be mean, grab rebounds and entice fear into the eyes of his opponents (Trust me, he did this freakishly well).

When you look at Rodman’s numbers, it’s quite astonishing. During the ’95-’96 season, Rodman posted a career high and league best offensive rebounding percentage with 20.83%. That means Rodman was estimated to rip down nearly 20% of the available offensive rebounds through that season.

In his ’92-’93 season, Rodman posted another career high and a league best defensive rebounding percentage when he grabbed 36.78% of all available defensive rebounds when he was on the court.

Through just 11 games this season, we’ve seen some outrageous numbers from Love in terms of rebounding. His 31 rebound game last Friday grabbed attention on a national level, when ESPN acknowledged his effort and rewarded him with the front page headline.

Now I understand that 11 games isn’t near the full sample size of 82 games like Rodman’s numbers had to withstand, but just to give you a realistic view on his progress thus far this season, Love has an ORB% of 17.63% and a DRB% of 34%. That should be rather impressive because it leads the league currently . . . By a lot, in terms of the DRB%.

He’s on pace to post the 5th best DRB% in a single season since the ABA days. Maybe even more impressive, and to give you a better idea of where he fits in on the all-time scale, the guys above of him are Ben Wallace, Bill Walton and, of course, Rodman himself. That’s some pretty good company if you ask me.

Rebounding is a key, fundamental skill in basketball. And in today’s fast-paced style of game, players don’t play nearly as many minutes and aren’t always likely to be in the right position to grab rebounds when there are a lot more shots being put up. But Love has adjusted to his role and, when given the proper amount of minutes, can post these daunting numbers and help the team produce some wins.

And, ultimately, it’s all about the wins.