The Rebounding Darrell Walker … and then there’s Andray Blatche
This Skybox basketball card commemorates Darrell Walker‘s rebounding prowess as a guard for the Washington Bullets in the early 1990s. In ’90-91, Walker led all guards with 7.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, amongst those who played at least 15 minutes per game and achieved at least 400 rebounds. When strictly looking at per game stats, according to the search results at Basketball-Reference.com, Tyrone Corbin of the Minnesota Timberwolves averaged more rebounds per game as a guard, but he was more a swing-forward to Walker’s true ability to play the point. [Note: Rounded, both Walker and Magic Johnson averaged 7.0 boards per game in ’90-91, but Walker was a fraction above Magic.]
In Washington Bullets/Wizards franchise history, according to BBR, only four guards have played in more than 60 games in a season, averaged over 25 minutes per game and over five rebounds per 36 minutes. Those players were: Larry Hughes (’02-03 to ’04-05), Michael Jordan (’01-02 and ’02-03), Darrell Walker (’88-89 to ’90-91) and Earl Monroe (’67-’68).
From the BBR database spanning from 1946-47 to the present day, only two NBA guards have appeared in more than 70 games, had a Total Rebounding Percentage (TRB%: an estimate of the percentage of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor) above 13-percent and a Defensive Rebounding Percentage (DRB%) above 20-percent.
Those two guards are Jason Kidd (2006-07: 13.2 – TRB%; 20.8 – DRB%) and Darrell Walker (1989-90: 13.4 – TRB%; 20.4 – DRB%).
I mention all of this not just to put a classic basketball card of a guard yearning for a rebound on display, but to also note that this season’s Washington Wizards are the tied with the Phoenix Suns for the second worst DRB% in the entire NBA at just 70.6-percent. The Golden State Warriors secure an estimated league-worst 68.5-percent of the defensive rebounds available to them.
This season, Andray Blatche is sporting a TRB% of 13.3 and a DRB% of 19.2 — his career averages in those respective categories: 13.7 and 18.6. One conclusion is that the 6’4″ Walker always worked harder on the boards than Blatche ever has … for his 6’11” or 7’0″ height.
However, there are so many other factors which go into rebounding statistics that we won’t get too caught up in these numbers other than to point out that on Friday, Washington got out-rebounded 55-43 by the Oklahoma City Thunder; Blatche had two rebounds in almost 31 minutes on the court. On Saturday the Wizards were beaten on the boards 44-35 by Memphis; Blatche performed better with nine rebounds in almost 33 minutes of action…
But you tell me if 11 total boards in just over 63 minutes is getting the job done.