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Taree Eason is a good offensive rebounder. He might even be a great person. He ranks third among rookies this season with 2.2 per game. Alperen Sengun is the only rocket to attract more of them this year. But Eason is only playing 19.4 minutes per game. He’s made just three starts in his career. If I told you that Eason had one of the greatest offensive turnarounds in professional basketball history, you would probably laugh. But that’s exactly what happened against the Thunder on Wednesday.

First things first. we specified offensive return for a reason. Eason was invisible on the defensive glass, grabbing just one defensive rebound. But in his 19 minutes against the Thunder, he grabbed an astounding 12 offensive rebounds.

Surprisingly, that’s not quite an NBA record. This has happened three other times in NBA history. Popeye Jones did it in 1994, Zydrunas Ilgauskas did it in 2005, and Tristan Thompson did it in 2014. Basically, that makes it about once a decade. Eason was so good on the offensive glass that he grabbed four offensive rebounds per possession.

Lest you believe this game was a statistical quirk and nothing more, it was a breakout game for Houston’s 17th overall pick. It was also his first career 20-point game. He also had three steals and two blocks. Most importantly, he helped a shorthanded Rockets team missing Jaylen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. to an upset win over the Thunder.

But the history books won’t remember the NBA’s worst team pulling off a meaningless win in the middle of a losing season. They will forever be remembered as one of the great, serendipitous statistical performances in NBA history, because chances are it will be a decade before we see another game like this one.


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