- Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com
- 0 Shares
Right on their heels, however, are the Wolves (46.2 rebounds per game), led by Kevin Love and his league-best 14.3 rebounds per game. Last week Love became the first player since Moses Malone in 1982 to have 30-plus points and 30-plus rebounds in the same game.
The Wolves actually outrebounded the Lakers 47-46 on Friday night, but Los Angeles won the game easily, 112-95, and limited Love to just seven rebounds and zero points on 0-of-7 shooting.
Lakers head coach Phil Jackson knows a thing or two about great rebounding, having coached Dennis Rodman on the Chicago Bulls. In Rodman's three seasons with the team, he won one of his four career rebounding titles, averaging 14.9, 16.0 and 15.0 boards per game in those three years despite measuring just 6-7, 210-pounds.
So what's the secret to Love's rebounding success in Jackson's opinion?
"He fouls and gets away with it a lot," Jackson said. "He jumps over guys' backs. But he's there, he's pursuing it and he's got a reputation now and [the referees] are giving him some latitude. But you have to give him that for determination and effort."
Jackson has been known to point out to the press a perceived advantage the officials are affording an opponent. He was fined $35,000 by the NBA during the first round of last season's playoffs when he questioned the amount of foul shots Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant received.
However, this time around, the coach applied his critique of Love's fouls to all great rebounders. Jackson said Love isn't alone when he pushes and fouls to get a better chance at controlling the boards.
"Dennis [Rodman] was great at that [too]," Jackson said. "He used to have a spin move that was a really good move, but he fouled. They all do."
The long-armed and broad-shouldered Jackson, who was listed at 6-foot-8, 220 pounds during his playing days, averaged only 4.3 rebounds per game over the course of his 12-year NBA career. Asked why he didn't push and foul his way to the glass when he played, Jackson said, "I couldn't get away with that."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
21mMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon
2hMarc Stein and Calvin Watkins