Lately, Karl-Anthony Towns has become an even better rebounder than he already was. With that in mind, let’s check out how KAT dominates the glass every night.
On the defensive end of the court, rebounding isn’t just one of the ways to end a successful possession — it’s the only one. And on offense, a second-chance board can be the very thing that takes the wind out of a surging opposition, or puts the life back into a trailing team.
Karl-Anthony Towns has traditionally been a high-caliber rebound-eater, finishing off defensive possessions and mopping up teammates’ missed baskets. The 22-year-old is averaging 12.2 rebounds per game, fifth-best in the league, with a 20.1 percent rebounding percentage (11th overall), according to NBA.com/stats. And that’s not even mentioning Towns’ league-leading 47 double-doubles.
Lately, however, KAT’s somehow kicked his rebounding exploits up another notch. Over the past 20 games, he has averaged 13.5 rebounds a night and boosted his rebounding percentage to 22.5 percent. That mark ranks him the sixth-best rebounder by percentage in that span.
The first time All-Star uses his 7-foot-4 wingspan, unrelenting will and uncanny nose for the ball to tear boards away over would-be offensive rebounders:
And his unreal athleticism to build up a running head of steam for a putback dunk or layup multiple times a game:
The seven-footer has registered just one game with under 10 rebounds since the beginning of 2018.
That stretch of board-grabbing dominance has contained seven games with over 15 rebounds, which included a career-high 10 offensive rebounds in a win over the Brooklyn Nets and a career-high 23 total rebounds in a loss in Boston.
"“You want to be able to count on your defense and rebounding all of the time.”"
Those are the stone cold facts coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned to KFAN Radio last November, and facts he has echoed throughout his time in the Twin Cities. If a team wants to be elite defensively, it must finish off a successful possession with a defensive rebound. If you don’t, all the hard work put in to create a missed shot goes by the wayside.
Karl-Anthony Towns has clearly worked on his individual defense this season; he has posted a 107 Defensive Rating compared to last season’s rating of 110.8, and his 1.7 total defensive win shares are already more than the 1.5 he collected over the entire 2016-17 campaign. With his elite rebounding to wrap it all up, the former number-one pick is quickly becoming a force on the gritty end of the floor.
On the offensive end, Towns constantly disrupts opposing team’s defensive finale’s by skying in for a putback jam that leaves backboards and fans heads shaking. Watch here as he punishes Toronto Raptors big man Serge Ibaka for getting overzealous on a block attempt and hammers home the second chance dunk:
Do not leave Karl-Anthony Towns unattended on a missed shot. That should be in big bold letters on the top of every single teams scouting report.
On the above occasion, the entire Brooklyn Nets squad forgot that Towns existed — despite wearing the blinding neon green jerseys — and his positioning allows him to float in, grab the miss and throw down a thunderous two points.
His elite scoring nature and improved team may have been the main reasons why Karl-Anthony Towns will be making his debut All-Star appearance in a fortnight, but the frenetic rebounding is a huge reason why opposing coaches are shaking in their boots at the thought of facing the former Kentucky star.