3) Improve Kevin Knox’s rebounding
Part of becoming a better defender – or a better defense from a team perspective – is learning how to secure rebounds on both ends of the floor. Securing offensive rebounds helps avoid fast break opportunities the other way due to uneven floor spacing. Securing defensive rebounds helps reduce easy second chance scoring opportunities.
Kevin Knox did neither of those two during the first two seasons of his career. Knox averaged a paltry 2.8 rebounds/game off the bench (or 5.7 rebounds/36 minutes). His rebounding percentage of 7.2% ranks around the same level as reserve point guards in the NBA. To keep it honest, these numbers do not look good in any capacity for any forward in the NBA.
Time after time, the NBA gods punish teams who aren’t able to secure rebounds. The 2012-13 San Antonio Spurs were one rebound away from winning the 2013 NBA Finals. With Knox’s ability to be a stretch forward in the NBA, it’s equally imperative to secure rebounds to get out in transition and exploit his talents as a potentially elite perimeter shooter.
Part of the improvement can come with increasing strength – especially lower body strength – in the offseason. Lower body strength will help Knox with boxing out his opponents. Additionally, proper technique and footwork can also abet with becoming a better rebounder over time.
Thibs must help reinforce the importance of rebounding into Kevin Knox. Perhaps Thibs can help instill the voracity for grabbing boards akin to his days as a player at New Britain High School.