# Russell vs Rodman on the boards

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Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Many posters use Russell's staggering rebound figures as proof of his greatness. But all is not as it appears to be. Since rebounds are a bi-product of missed shots, rebounds should be expressed in terms of percentages of missed shots a player grabs. In the late 1950's and all of the 60's, 2 teams would combine to miss about 145 shots per game( thats missed field goals and free throws combined) In the1990's and 2000's that number dropped to about 100 missed shots per game.
Here is a comparison of Russell and Rodman based on the year that they had their best rebounds per game average.
For Russell it was 1959-60 when he averaged, based on 36 minutes per game, 20.3 rebounds. For that year the average number of missed shots per team was 73.693 multiplied by 2 teams = 147.386 total missed shots per game. Since Russell averaged 20.3 rebounds per game that means he rebounded, on average, 13.8% of the missed shots.

For rodman, his best rebounding average for 36 minutes, was 16.9 per 36 minutes, in 1992-93 That year the total missed shots for 2 teams was 104.170. Dividing 16.9 by 104.170 you find that Rodman rebounded 16.2% of the missed shots in his game.

Without going into detail, here are the figures for 2 other recent rebounders of note, Howard  and Love.

Howards best rebounding year 2008-09.  Percent of missed shots rebounded =14.1
Love's best rebounding year 2010-11.  Percent of missed shots rebounded = 15.4
As you can see from these numbers the huge number of  missed shots in Russell's day led to some very inflated rebound averages. More to followed on this Russell vs Rodman issue.
Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Good stuff Seems.......keep 'em coming..........I'm sure there will be a lot of "hits" on this one.........one note........regarding Big Bill and Wilt....if you have a guy at 6-10 220 vs a guy at around 7-2 275.......wouldn't you expect the "big guy" to dominate his opponent on the boards.......? I sure would.........how then did Russ (22.5 career) compete with Wilt (22.9 career) so successfully during their rivalry...?  and regarding the larger Hall of Fame centers of that era, Walt Bellamy (career 13.7) and Nate Thurmond (career 15.0)....how is it the Russ out-rebounded them both by such a wide margin....?  ....he must have been a special dude to do that....no...?

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

In Response to Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards:
Good stuff Seems.......keep 'em coming..........I'm sure there will be a lot of "hits" on this one.........one note........regarding Big Bill and Wilt....if you have a guy at 6-10 220 vs a guy at around 7-2 275.......wouldn't you expect the "big guy" to dominate his opponent on the boards.......? I sure would.........how then did Russ (22.5 career) compete with Wilt (22.9 career) so successfully during their rivalry...?  and regarding the larger Hall of Fame centers of that era, Walt Bellamy (career 13.7) and Nate Thurmond (career 15.0)....how is it the Russ out-rebounded them both by such a wide margin....?  ....he must have been a special dude to do that....no...?
Posted by Duke4

Duke,
Very thoughtful questions Duke. I'll see what I can do with them.
1st. Russ vs Wilt.  There are 2 types 0f rebounders. Those,that as a result of bulk, dominate a small area in the lane(Wilt) and those that, because of quickness  dominate a larger area(Russ). Either way is equally effective.
2nd. Bellamy and Thurman.  Simple answer.Russell was much quicker to the ball and and had greater leaping ability.   All 4 came into the league at a time when blacks were 1st beginning to take over the league with their superior athletic ability, but, because segregation still existed in the south, it was another 15 years, before the takeover was completed. For the record Duke, I consider Russ and Wilt in basketball, Babe Ruth in baseball, Wayne Gretsky in hockey and Al Oerter and Edwin Moses,in track and field, to be the most dominating athletes of their generations. Stay tuned as I will post some figures that will Illustrate the effect of the passage of time when comparing players from different generations.
Seems
Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Just a thought, but I don't remember any player EVER grabbing 55 rebounds against Rodman. Just pointing out a fact. Enjoy.

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

agree, good stuff!! thanks for the knowledge seems.

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

I cannot remember a time when Rodman EVER allowed the man he was guarding to score 62 points or grab 55 rebounds. Bill Russell should be ashamed.  I'm just sayin'

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Nice Seems......again, you nailed it!

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

I won't disagree, but will mention that Rodman was a one-trick pony.  Russ did a lot more than rebound.

cheers --

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

There is absolutely no argument that Rodman was a great rebounder and defender.  Russ was both, but more importantly was the greatest WINNER of all time.  He was the leader of a true dynasty.  Stats are for losers.  Compare Russ's championship record with anyone and he is on top.

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

phxvlsoxfan - "stats are for losers".  Yes, especially when the man you say was a great rebounder and defender got blasted for 62 points and another time allowed 55 rebounds in a single game to his man. Thanks for playing!

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

In Response to Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards:
There is absolutely no argument that Rodman was a great rebounder and defender.  Russ was both, but more importantly was the greatest WINNER of all time.  He was the leader of a true dynasty.  Stats are for losers.  Compare Russ's championship record with anyone and he is on top.
Posted by phxvlsoxfan

And of course being surrouned by an average 5 hall Of Fame players on each and every team that he played on had nothing to do with the number of rings that he got. How many rings would he have it he played on, for example, the knicks of the late 50's and early 60's?

Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Well, LA had some nice talent around as well, still they couldn't beat Russell. And didn't you just prove in another threat that a Hall of Fame Player called Cousy was a lousy shooter and a bad defender? Did this average player led Russell to the titles and to the hall of fame or the other way around?

Again: I'm not in the boat with the guys who call Russell the goat but your arguments are way one sided.

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Koberulz......I'm guessing you never saw either of them play....well I did.....for a decade...as "Romey" says....SCOREBOARD......Wilt walked off the court a loser quite a bit more often against Big Bill.....but then, so did the entire Laker rosters for a decade.....them's the facts boy....as the old timers say....

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

In Response to Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards:
Well, LA had some nice talent around as well, still they couldn't beat Russell. And didn't you just prove in another threat that a Hall of Fame Player called Cousy was a lousy shooter and a bad defender? Did this average player led Russell to the titles and to the hall of fame or the other way around? Again: I'm not in the boat with the guys who call Russell the goat but your arguments are way one sided.
Posted by Gasthoerer

Lets make one thing perfectly clear Gasthoerer. Russell  is my alltime favorite Celtic player and Cousy isn't very far behind but my allegiance-is primarily to the Celtics as a team. I'm more concerned about telling it as I see it rather than trying to defend the "Good Old Days" simply because I lived them. Now in Cousy case his lifetime shooting % of 37.5 is probably average for guards in the 1950's and early 60's. But in the 2000's it flat out stinks. The Celtics,including Cousy, did not win a championship untill Russ came along in the 1956-57 season. So I guess that Russ Led and Cousy and 5 other Hall of Famers assisted as the Celtics won their 1st nba title.
Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Sounds about right to me buddy!!

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

Heres a little more comparison between Russ and Rodman as rebounders.

Above chart is for the year 1959-60 showing the best rebounders for that year.The # 1 rebounder heads the list followed by #2 etc. In 1959-60 there were only 8 teams in the league so allowing for the 3 top rebounders  on each team this study will only involve the top 24 players.
Facts.   24 total players and Of those 24 players, 18 were white, and 11 were under 6'8".-- Of those 11 players that were under 6'8", 9 were white.

Chart for 1992-93 to follow.
Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

 Posts: 1616First: 7/5/2009Last: 9/1/2011 Koberulz......I'm guessing you never saw either of them play....well I did.....for a decade...as "Romey" says....SCOREBOARD......Wilt walked off the court a loser quite a bit more often against Big Bill.....but then, so did the entire Laker rosters for a decade.....them's the facts boy....as the old timers say.... THE DUKE
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What did the scoreboard say after the game when Wilt scored 62 on Russell? What about the game when Wilt grabbed 55 rebounds on Russell? That just sounds like abuse to me.  Oh, and over that 10 year span, Russell's team won 88 games while Wilt's won 74 - a mere 14 games is nothing to write home about. And them's the facts boy.

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

In Response to Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards:
Heres a little more comparison between Russ and Rodman as rebounders.     http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=totals&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1960&year_max=1960&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=63&height_max=91&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=&qual=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=trb  Above chart is for the year 1959-60 showing the best rebounders for that year.The # 1 rebounder heads the list followed by #2 etc. In 1959-60 there were only 8 teams in the league so allowing for the 3 top rebounders  on each team this study will only involve the top 24 players.       Facts.   24 total players and Of those 24 players, 18 were white, and 11 were under 6'8".-- Of those 11 players that were under 6'8", 9 were white.   Chart for 1992-93 to follow. Seems
Posted by SeemsToMe

And here's the chart for 1992-93

27teams x 3 players each team== 81 players studied.

81 players.-- 9 white
81 players.--  17 under 6'8" of which only 1 was white

Draw your own conclusions as to the level of competition that the 6'9" Russ faced in 1959-60 and the level that the 6'7" Rodman faced in 1992-93.
Seems

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Re: Russell vs Rodman on the boards

I think you are forgetting to add playoff games.....the final total for the 142 games they faced each other was Russ 84.....Wilt 58....yep....Russell's team won almost 60% of the time.....Wilt measured his success by stats......Russell looked at wins...there was a game when Wilt seemed to be having a great night scoring....truth told, Russ just let him score that night.....Wilt walked off the court figuring he had a great night....his team had just lost to the Celtics by 30 points.....

Russ.....totally psyched out an entire league....

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