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Despite Winning, Pacers Struggling Mightily In Rebounding Department

The Pacers (30-25) have been outrebounded in 13 of their last 14 games, yet have survived that stretch with a 9-5 record.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a stat that makes you go, huh?

That can’t be right.

But it is.

The Pacers are 9-5 in their last 14 games. And they’ve been outrebounded in 13 of those 14 games, including 11 straight.

Rebounding margin is probably not the first stat which directly correlates to wins and losses, but it’s definitely something coaches point to over the course of an NBA season.

Nate McMillan sees it and knows that, despite his team winning during this recent stretch, controlling the backboard has to change.

“That’s something we know we have to get better at,” the Pacers head coach says. “That’s something that I’ve challenged our bigs, certainly Myles (Turner) to be better.

“Coming into this season, we knew that area was going to be something we really had to do collectively. We are a small team. We are not big with Thad (Young) at the power forward, Bojan (Bogdanovic) at the small forward and our guards. That’s something we have to really do collectively. It’s something that you are constantly talking to your team about. That’s something that is a skill. Most of our guys it hasn’t been a strength of theirs.”

McMillan has appreciated the rebounding help off the bench from Lance Stephenson (4th on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game) and Domantas Sabonis (1st on the team with 8.2 rebounds per game).

In this 14-game span, Indiana is dead last in rebounding margin (-62) and offensive rebound margin (-36).

“We’ve struggled, especially allowing offensive rebounds, which has created second-chance points for threes,” Sabonis says. “That’s hurt us a lot. We just have to do a better job, be tougher, be more physical.”

Thaddeus Young says rebounding by committee is an absolute must for the Pacers to end this streak.

Bigs, wings and guards have to come together on the glass, especially with the Pacers lacking a dominant big guy.

“We haven’t done a good job, not at all,” Young says of the rebounding as of late. “For the most part, we just have to go out there and want it a little bit more. We have kind of got away from that a little bit.

“We have still been able to win a few games, but at the end of the day, that’s one aspect of the game we have to get better. We have to be more physical and put our bodies on guys more.”

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