The Charlotte Hornets have one of the most efficient offenses in the league this year, currently ranking in the top 10 in offensive efficiency, coming in a fifth overall. One little thing that the Hornets rank highly in the NBA is their efficiency on offensive rebounds.
According to Synergy Sports, the Hornets rank third in the league in points per possession off of offensive rebounds. That all seems great in theory - offensive rebounds lead to more possessions which can lead to more points. If the Hornets are one of the most efficient teams at put backs, then this could be a huge weapon right?
The problem with this is that right now, the Hornets rank dead last in offensive rebounds at 8.6 per game. Second chances are great, and the Hornets are good at converting those second chances. But they don't get enough of those chances each game for it to make a difference.
Why don't the Hornets try and crash the glass more? If they are efficient with those second chances, why aren't they sending more guys to the boards?
This all comes from the Hornets' defensive scheme. In addition to their top ten offense, the Hornets currently have a top ten defense, ranking sixth in defensive efficiency. Some teams like to send guys to the glass, but in that case, you risk letting teams run all over you and get points in transition. The Hornets are a middle of the pack transition team in terms of their defense, ranking 16th according to Synergy Sports.
For the most part, when the shot goes up, the Hornets are sending three guys to get back on D and really only telling one guy (normally Cody Zeller) to crash the glass. Watch as Kemba Walker puts up a shot and he, Marvin Williams, and P.J. Hairston race back while Zeller is fighting for the rebound.
Most teams have two back and send at least two guys to the offensive boards because there is a lot of value in creating extra possessions. The Hornets have been great on the offensive end, and it would seem like a good idea to try and get more possessions by concerning more effort to the offensive glass. Their efficiency on their second chances backs that up. What you sacrifice with that, however, is the Hornets' transition D, which isn't as good as their half court defense has been. Keeping things simple is something that Coach Steve Clifford has always done with this team on that end of the floor, and this offensive rebounding rule makes it easier for the team to get back and get their defense set. It's just another smart little thing that Coach Clifford has done to help the Hornets are both ends this season.