Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren proving doubters wrong on the boards

Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) collects a rebound Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) collects a rebound Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports /

Jalen Duren of the Detroit Pistons is the NBA’s youngest player, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him play.

The 18-year-old has been impressive and ahead-of-schedule in several areas, while removing some of the doubts about him coming in.

One of those areas is rebounding, as there were some questions about his motor and effectiveness, especially on the defensive boards.

I’ll admit I was asking them early in the season, as Duren’s rebounding effort was not impressive in Summer League, so it looked like he definitely needed improvement, as it takes more than just being big to be a good rebounder in the NBA.

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But Jalen Duren has looked like a different player since the games have gotten real and already looks like a guy who could be an impact rebounder on both ends.

Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren’s rebounding stats have been impressive

Jalen Duren is currently second among rookies, averaging 7.3 total rebounds per game. He’s just behind Paolo Banchero (8.3) who is a starter who plays 13 more minutes per game.

Duren’s 2.8 offensive rebounds per game rank 13th in the NBA, just behind teammate Isaiah Stewart, which is impressive considering everyone else ahead of him on the list plays more minutes.

Duren is grabbing over 85 percent of his contested offensive rebounding chances, which is the highest in the NBA.

He is making a living off getting the tough rebounds, as he currently leads the NBA in overall contested rebounding percentage among players with at least 40 contested boards.

His Per-36 numbers of 12.3 rebounds per game are something we might see now that Isaiah Stewart is injured and Duren could be in an expanded role.

Jalen Duren is only 18-years-old but looks like a guy who could lead the NBA in rebounding some day, as he is pulling them down at a high rate, doing it in traffic, and putting up big numbers in limited minutes so far.

His ability to grab offensive boards is going to be a weapon for the Detroit Pistons, and as he gets more playing time, Duren is going to have some monster games on the boards.

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