In this installment of 12 in '12, we're going to look at the top 12 rebounders in NBA 2K12 according to the in-game ratings.The players are listed on the team they are on with default NBA 2K12 rosters. I think you'll find a few surprises here.
12. Reggie Evans - Toronto Raptors - 94 OREB, 87 DREB (181 REB)
While Reggie Evans has made his reputation by rebounding, sheer tenacity and hustle on the defensive end, I'm not sure that the casual NBA observer considers him an elite rebounder. But look a little closer and you'll see that the 31-year-old Evans has been doing work on the glass since he was signed by Seattle as an undrafted free agent in 2002. Last season, in limited action with Toronto, Evans averaged 11.5 rebounds per game - the highest average of his career - and he's been a consistent, though oft injured, force on the boards for every team that he's ever played with. I'll leave you with this - last season, Evans had this amazing stat; 20.8 RPG per 48 minutes which would lead the NBA if Evans had played enough games to qualify.
9. (TIE) Kris Humphries - New Jersey Nets - 94 OREB, 88 DREB (182 REB)
The former Mr. Kim Kardashian emerged as a legit rebounder in 2010 for New Jersey and those numbers are reflected in his rebound ratings in NBA 2K12. Averaging 10.4 rpg last season, and 18.0 rebounds per 48 minutes, Humphries enjoyed the healthiest season of his career as well as averaging a career high in minutes and starting 44 games. He's only 26, but with only one solid season under his belt, we'll see what the market is for him in the upcoming 2011 NBA Free Agent frenzy.
9. (TIE) Marcus Camby - Portland Trail Blazers - 92 OREB, 90 DREB (182 REB)
Old reliable, steady as they come. That's been my opinion on Camby in his NBA career. He hasn't averaged less than 10 rebounds per game since the injury marred 02-03 campaign with Denver in which he only played 29 games. Camby has never played a full 82 game season -- his career high is 79 games with the 07-08 Denver Nuggets. Camby averaged 10.3 rpg last season with Portland, and didn't see much drop off in the 10-11 playoffs (9.7 rpg). Camby is 37 and I can't imagine he'll be around for too many more NBA seasons. One of the most consistent big men of the last 10 years.
9. (TIE) Andrew Bogut - Milwaukee Bucks - 90 OREB, 92 DREB (182 REB)
Bogut has been known for two things since being drafted No. 1 overall by Milwaukee in 2005: his rock steady play on the interior and injuries. The Aussie has improved his rebound totals from 7.0 rpg in his rookie season to a career-high 11.1 rpg in 2010 (not to mention a career best 2.6 bpg). If the 27-year-old, seven-footer can dodge the injury bug, he could be one of the best centers in the NBA. As it stands now he's gotten better every season, but hasn't quite been the franchise player that Milwaukee needs. 2011 could be Bogut's season to become a superstar in the East and lead Milwaukee back to the playoffs -- or it could be another season spent mostly watching in street clothes.
8. DeJuan Blair - San Antonio Spurs - 96 OREB, 88 DREB (184 REB)
The big man out of Pittsburgh will be entering his third season as a pro in 2011. If his first two season are any indication, we should be seeing steady progress in his game. He only averaged 7.0 rpg last season for San Antonio in a reserve role, but figures to see increased minutes. His rebounds per 48 minutes stat is very impressive - 15.6. That's good for 7th in the NBA, one better than Blake Griffin and two better than teammate Tim Duncan. It's remarkable to think he does all of this without any anterior cruciate ligaments in his knees. And has been playing without them since high school.
7. Blake Griffin - Los Angeles Clippers - 92 OREB, 93 DREB (185 REB)
The next superstar in the NBA, Blake Griffin, averaged 12.1 rpg in his first season playing in the NBA. Everyone remembers the stress-fracture to his knee that ended his 2009 season before it ever started. Plenty of fans and pundits wondered if the Clippers' "curse" had already gotten the best of Griffin. If last season is any indication (All-Star selection and Slam Dunk Contest Winner, named one of the 15 best rookies in NBA history by Sports Illustrated) then the NBA and fans of Clippers have a lot of reason to look forward to a 10-plus year reign of terror from the charasmatic kid from Oklahoma City.
5. (TIE) Greg Oden - Portland Trail Blazers - 97 OREB, 90 DREB (187 REB)
Greg Oden ... you've to feel bad for the guy. The allegedly 23-year-old Oden wouldn't have any luck if not for bad luck. He missed his rookie season in 2007, just like Blake Griffin in 2009, after having microfracture surgery before he ever stepped onto the hardwood. That's where any comparison to Griffin stops. Oden hasn't managed to stay healthy in either of the last two seasons and had another microfracture surgery during the 2010 season. You have wonder if this guy is ever gonna be something more than an "What-If" and the answer to a trivia question. Still, in NBA 2K12 his rebounding rating makes him a force in the paint. Hopefully his virtual doppleganger will have a long career as a dominant big man the way Portland envisioned it working out back in 2007.
5. (TIE) Zach Randolph - Memphis Grizzlies - 97 OREB, 90 DREB (187 REB)
Z-Bo had arguably his most succesful season as an NBA player in 2010, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a Game 7 for a shot at the Western Conference Finals. Randolph has transformed his image from that of a headcase and an underachiever early in his career to being seen as a vital part of the Grizzlies' chances of making a run at a the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Randolph averaged 12.1 rpg last season and racked up a fifth best in the NBA, 16.1 rebounds per 48 minutes stat. In NBA 2K12, he's a monster on the offensive glass as well as controlling the defensive boards for his team.
4. Dwight Howard - Orlando Magic - 93 OREB, 96 DREB = (189 REB)
The subject of never-ending trade rumors (along with Chris Paul), Dwight Howard is gonna be a beast wherever he ends up playing this season and beyond. Dwight has led the league in rebounds per game three times in his short career, as well as being the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding and blocks. Following the 2009 season, he became the first NBA player ever to lead the league in total rebounds for five consecutive seasons supassing Wilt Chamberlain. Did I mention he's only 25? Last year Howard averaged 14.1 rpg in the regular season and an astonishing 15.5 rpg in the playoffs. Oh, and he also finished second in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes with 18.0. If you were going to build around one player in NBA 2K12, it would be awfully hard to argue against Dwight Howard.
3. Joakim Noah - Chicago Bulls - 99 OREB, 97 DREB = (196 REB)
Noah came into his own as a dominant force in the paint in 2009, and despite an injury shortened 2010 campaign, he still managed to average 10.4 rpg in 48 regular season contests. Noah was averaging 11.7 rebounds in the 24 games prior to his injury. He was rock steady during the Bulls playoff run as well, averaging 10.2 rpg. I was surpised to see the former Florida Gator ranked ahead of the likes of Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard in rebounding ratings. He's a human vacuum cleaner in NBA 2K12, poaching every rebound he can and helping to mask Carlos Boozer's rebounding deficiencies on the virtual Chicago Bulls.
2. Joel Przybilla - Charlotte Bobcats - 98 OREB, 99 DREB (197 REB)
This one took me by complete surprise. And I'll be honest with you, I can't find any reasonable data to back up his astounding rebounding ratings. His career high in rpg came in the 2008-2009 season. He averaged 8.8 rpg that season in almost 24 minutes per game. You can't even argue that his rebounds per 48 minutes justifies this rating. I watched the former ninth overall pick play last season and I never saw anything to indicate that he was a dominant rebounder. Nor do his statistics indicate that he ever was one. Przybilla has been a solid, if oft-injured, interior presence for the Blazers for the last seven seasons, but c'mon man.
1. Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves. 99 OREB, 99 DREB (198 REB)
The best rebounder in the NBA last season was Kevin Love. The former UCLA Bruin averaged an outrageous 15.2 rpg last season in the NBA wasteland that is Minnesota. He was voted to the NBA All-Star team for the first time in his career and earned the NBA Most Improved Player Award. Love increased his rebounds per game by 38 percent over the previous season and became the face of the franchise for the Timberwolves. In the process he also became the first player to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a season since Moses Malone in the 1982–83 season. His rebounds per 48 minutes stat was a ridiculous 20.4. There's really no questioning NBA 2K12 on this one. They got this one right.
There you have it, the top 12 rebounders according to NBA 2K12. Of note, the top offensive rebound rating in NBA 2K12 is a 99, shared by Love and DeSagna Diop. The top defensive rebound rating is shared by Love and Przybilla. Just missing the top 12 were Pau Gasol (179), Brendan Haywood (179) and David Lee (178).
Have you had any solid rebounding efforts from players who missed the top 12 cut?