Daily Nugget: Denver’s dominance on the offensive glass

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyrosNBA

The Denver Nuggets don’t have the typical profile of an elite offense this season. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Nuggets rank 24th in free-throw rate and just 21st in the team’s effective field-goal percentage (51.8 percent). Every other offense in the top 10 of the league ranks above-average in at least one of those categories, if not both.

However, there is one key reason the Nuggets have stayed near or in the top 10 of offensive rating this season, and it has to do with complete dominance on the offensive glass. It should also be mentioned that Denver rarely turns the ball over and owns the seventh-best (or lowest) turnover rate in the league.

On the season the Nuggets top the league in offensive rebound percentage at 28 percent. However, that number jumps up to an astounding 31.5 percent since Christmas, which laps the entire league. For reference, the New Orleans Pelicans rank second on the offensive boards since Christmas at 28.9 percent.

Furthermore, Denver has had at least 15 second-chance points in six-straight games, highlighted by the 35 second-chance points it had against the Pelicans last week in a key road win. The 35 second-chance points tied for the most any team has had in a game over the past three seasons.

One of the Nuggets’ most impactful players on the offensive glass is none other than Michael Porter Jr. When the 21-year-old rookie has been on court this season, Denver’s offensive rebound percentage increases by 7.1 percent, which ranks in the 97th percentile. Will Barton III, Torrey Craig and Nikola Jokić have also had positive impacts on the offensive boards over this recent stretch of games.

Given Denver’s antiquated shot chart and struggles from beyond the arc, continued success on the offensive glass will be an anchor for the team’s offense. With some improved shooting, the Nuggets should bounce back into the top 10 of offensive ratings and stay there given the team’s ability to take care of the ball and create additional scoring opportunities.

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