After taking a look at the stats, it does not seem San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray is fantastic at rebounding. In fact, the opposite seems true.
The 21-year-old is averaging 4.6 rebounds per game and four other players on his own team have averaged more boards this season. But don’t let that number fool you; Murray – despite averaging just 1.1 rebounds per game as a rookie last year – has proven himself as one of the most valuable players off the glass at his position.
Why isn’t the young guard earning more playing time for San Antonio? If he were on the court more often, he could help the Spurs improve their rebounding.
Despite a small role, he’s already had four games with 10 or more boards during his 2017-18 campaign and the season is not even halfway done. His previous career-high was six last season.
Gregg Popovich has never coached a guard like this, according to a recent report (via SB Nation):
“Only Derek Anderson, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green have had a season where they’ve had double-digit rebounding nights 3 times in a season. Manu has accomplished that feat during 3 separate times. Stephen Jackson had two double-digit rebounding nights during the 2002-03 Championship season. But no Spurs guard during the Popovich era procures the carom as well as Dejounte Murray.”
Murray would average 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes based on his current production. The only guard who would average more is the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. Murray would lead all guards with 13.0 rebounds per 100 possessions.
After grabbing a total of just six offensive rebounds during his first year in the league, the second-year player has arguably become the most productive at his position in the skill set.
Among players who have had as many offensive rebound chances as Murray (6-foot-5) this season, the only guards who have a better adjusted offensive rebound percentage are Ben Simmons (6-foot-10) and Andre Roberson (6-foot-7). The only qualified guard with more defensive rebounds per minute so far this season is Westbrook.
For those who have at least as many total rebound opportunities, the only guards who rank higher in overall adjusted rebound percentage are hyped-up rookie Lonzo Ball, Simmons and Westbrook as well as MVP-candidates LeBron James and Jimmy Butler.
Murray has a 7-foot wingspan and the mentality of a player who knows he wants to help the team create opportunities. They are a better team off the glass when he is on the court and he will assuredly work his way into more playing time. He just needs a continued chance on the court to prove himself.