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Utah Jazz bigmen Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors are owning the glass in a historically significant way

The season is far from over, and the best days are still ahead. But one thing to watch for is how this team will own the glass going forward

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Let's talk about rebounds. No, I don't mean hooking up with the wrong person after you get out of an emotionally draining relationship. (Or in my case, eating a plate of nachos by myself because I know all the ice cream I just had is bad for me.) I think Pat Riley said it best, "No Rebounds, No Rings." I believe him because the first great basketball I watched as I was learning the game were those Showtime Los Angeles Lakers. Their fast break counter attack was predicated on getting rebounds. And they dominated the glass on their way to quite a few championships. Rebounds have always been key, and will always be key. Who will ever forget Chris Bosh getting an offensive rebound, and throwing it out to Ray Allen for a huge three pointer in the NBA Finals? At the key moments of the game you need to make sure you get your hands on the ball. Rebounds. 50/50 Balls. Loose balls. You need hungry guys. And looking at Utah Jazz history, there may be no one hungrier for the ball than Rudy Gobert.

If you looked at ALL of the Jazz players in franchise history, and eliminated everyone who didn't finish a season with at least 15.0% TRB%, you get a list of fewer than 60 players, ever. Only 20 of those 58 total players have accomplished the feat twice in their careers. And if you limit it to just the Top 10 players in Jazz history you get a tidy list of some of the best rebounders any of us have ever seen. And the early results are in . . . and both Gobert and frontcourt mate Derrick Favors look to make big marks on the Jazz history book of boards.

TRB% > .150 Listed from Best to Worst
Player # of times Avg of Top 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 Karl Malone 15 17.1% 17.4% 17.2% 17.1% 17.1% 16.9% 16.8% 16.8% 16.6% 16.3% 16.1%
2 Greg Ostertag 10 18.0% 19.4% 18.3% 18.1% 17.3% 17.0% 16.9% 16.7% 16.2% 15.8% 15.8%
3 Carlos Boozer 6 18.9% 20.6% 19.4% 19.2% 18.2% 16.9% 16.0%
4 Rich Kelley 6 17.9% 19.5% 18.9% 18.5% 17.2% 15.4% 15.2%
5 Derrick Favors 6 16.7% 17.9% 17.7% 16.7% 15.6% 15.4% 15.4%
6 Mark Eaton 5 15.8% 17.0% 16.1% 15.4% 15.4% 15.2%
7 Enes Kanter 4 16.9% 18.3% 16.7% 16.5% 16.1%
8 Paul Millsap 4 16.6% 17.5% 17.0% 16.5% 15.4%
9 Rudy Gobert 3 19.9% 20.7% 20.6% 18.5%
10 Al Jefferson 3 16.3% 16.3% 16.3% 16.2%

I know it's really early, but if the ball is in question, I feel confident that someone like Rudy or Derrick will be able to get it. And for a team that has such a small margin of error that makes a huge difference. Of course, that short term margin of error is even smaller with Rudy Gobert out and injured. But he's going to come back. And he's going to help establish the idea that rebounds just flat-out belong to the Jazz. If you want one you're going to have to really want it more. And with Rudy pulling down (effectively) 1/5th of all the boards he's out there to see happen, it's not likely that you want it more than him.

Two historical points: Karl was a beast for such a long time, and Big Al was quite weak sauce -- yet more effective overall than 7'4 Eaton. Crazy.