Player One rebounds per game: 12.0. Player Two rebounds per game: 3.3. One could be excused for assuming I’m comparing a center to a guard, but Player One is Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who has grabbed at least nine boards in every game so far this series, and Player Two is Heat center Chris Bosh, who did not have nine total rebounds for the series until Game Three. Domination of the glass is the main reason that the Pacers have won two of the first four games. In Game Four, they outrebounded the Heat 49-30. Since 1986, there have been 91 teams to post a -19 net total rebounds in a playoff game. Only nine of them have won the game.
By how much do the Heat need to improve their rebounding to have a good chance of winning? The chart below shows how playoff teams that have been outrebounded by different margins have fared since 1986. Of the 623 teams that have been outrebounded by between six and ten boards in a game, only 33% have won. The Heat have done better than -6 net total rebounds just once in this series (in Game One, they were outrebounded by 5).