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News » Ready to rebound?

Ready to rebound?

Ready to rebound?Nenad Krstic's calling card is a 17-foot jumper. It's a weapon that pulls opponents' big men away from the goal, which opens the lane for teammates.

But what about Krstic's rebounding?

When you're a 7-foot center, hitting the boards will always be your job.

The Thunder was sixth in the NBA in rebounding last season. But one statistic underscores why their lack of inside muscle is this team's biggest concern.

Oklahoma City's record was 19-27 in games it out-rebounded opponents, 4-32 when it didn't.

Krstic averaged 5.5 rebounds with the Thunder . His career average is 5.7.

But his second season, Krstic averaged 8.3 rebounds the final six weeks and was close to 7.0 in the playoffs. He averaged 6.8 the first two months his third season before he was sidelined by a torn ACL in his left knee

"I'm not a big rebounding guy, but I averaged 7.0 before I was injured," Krstic said. "If I average 7.0 or 8.0, that would be good. I just try to block out my guy. Whoever gets the rebound, it doesn't matter."

Krstic isn't your traditional center that racks up dozens of double-doubles. But he's willing to mix it up in the paint and is a solid 265 pounds.

"For his size, he's sleeper athletically, more athletic than you think," said teammate Jeff Green. "It doesn't look like he can jump or move, but he's athletic. He's going to out-rebound a lot of bigs."

Rebounding was a team effort last season. It will be similar this season.

"We were a good offensive rebounding team last season, which helped our overall numbers," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "The concern is rebounding on the defensive end. It takes all five guys, including your bigs."



→Ready ... Nenad Krstic says he's fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered three years ago with the Nets. He'll never be the classic double-double center, but his teams fare better when he hits the boards.

New Jersey and Oklahoma City are a combined 45-25 when Krstic grabs eight or more rebounds. Two of OKC's biggest wins (Utah and San Antonio) were when Krstic led the team in rebounding.

→... Or not: Krstic averaged nearly twice as many free-throw attempts (3.1 a game) with New Jersey than he attempted with the Thunder (1.7).

He must be effective in the low post if Oklahoma City is to reduce its reliance on jump shots.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 27, 2009


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