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Advanced Stats Class: The Hornets were surprisingly good on the offensive glass

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Charlotte was good at securing offensive rebounds, but not so good at turning those possessions into points.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020-21 Charlotte Hornets finished the regular season with a 33-39 record and the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. Let’s take a look back on the Hornets team advanced stats and better understand why their season went the way it did. This week we’ll break down the Hornets offensive percentage.

Advanced stat: Offensive rebounding percentage.

What it measures: Percentage of offensive rebounds secured compared to the total number of offensive rebounds available.

Hornets result: 27.6%, 9th in NBA

So this is bizarre. As highlighted last week, the 2020-21 Hornets were a terrible defensive rebounding team, ranking just 26th in the league in this category. Yet somehow, the same roster ranked 9th in offensive rebounding percentage.

Huh?

Believe it or not, but the Hornets were a Top 10 offensive rebounding team this year.

Cody Zeller was fantastic on the offensive glass. His 11.5% offensive rebounding percentage ranked 10th in the NBA among the 229 players who appeared in at least 36 games and averaged at least 20 minutes per game. That placed him above dominant rebounders like Rudy Gobert (11.0%) and Jarrett Allen (10.6%).

Bismack Biyombo was also surprisingly good. His 9.4% offensive rebounding percentage ranked 21st in the NBA among those who played at least 36 games and averaged at least 20 minutes per game. This was actually a dip in offensive rebounding for Biz, though, as he had a 11.2% offensive rebounding percentage in 2019-20 and 9.9% in 2018-19. Bismack has slipped a little as an offensive rebounder, but he was still pretty good this past season.

After Zeller and Biz, Cody Martin (5.9%) ranked third among regular players followed by Jalen McDaniels (4.7%), PJ Washington (4.5%), Miles Bridges (4.1%), and LaMelo Ball (4.1%).

While rookies Nick Richards and Vernon Cary Jr. didn’t play much in their first NBA seasons we can at least get a glimpse of how they did on the offensive glass. Richards posted an offensive rebounding percentage of 5.6% while Cary Jr. registered a similar 5.4%. That’s not great for two big men, but they’re still young and learning the professional game.

But what’s a bit frustrating is that while the Hornets ranked 9th in offensive rebounding percentage, they weren’t great at turning those second chances into points. Despite being a solid offensive rebounding team, Charlotte ranked just 20th in second chance points.

The value of crashing the offensive boards is turning those extra possessions into more points. In that respect, the Hornets just didn’t capitalize.