The NBA struck a deal with SportVU this offseason to put their three-dimensional optical tracking cameras in every arena in the league, hoping that teams can use the new information to their advantage. John Schuhmann of NBA.com looked at a few tidbits uncovered by the cameras last season, including some ways in which Brooklyn Nets center and much-maligned-for-rebounding-issues Brook Lopez was a more impressive rebounder than forward Reggie Evans, who set an NBA record for highest rebound percentage ever last season (min. 50 games).
According to Schuhmann, in 18 games under the watchful eyes of SportVU cameras, Lopez actually grabbed 63% of all rebounds when he was in the vicinity of the ball, compared to just 62% for Evans. 54% of Lopez’s rebounds were contested, while only 31% of Evans’s were, and Lopez traveled more than 2 feet further on average to grab his rebounds.
We (and others) have dissected how Brook Lopez’s attention to boxing out made Evans’s job as a rebounder easier, and the SportVU numbers back it up; Lopez’s rebounds often come while fighting others for position, while Evans’s are a result of Lopez clearing that space.
According to NBA.com, Brook Lopez grabbed 13.2% of all available rebounds when he was on the floor this season, ranking him 55th in the NBA among players with at least 50 games played and 20 minutes played per game. (Evans ranked first, by a wide margin.) The team as a whole grabbed a higher percentage of rebounds with Lopez on the floor (52.9%) than off (51.2%).
John Schuhmann, NBA.com — SportVU Adds To The Conversation