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Is Shot Blocking a Lost Art?

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  • Is Shot Blocking a Lost Art?

    Fantastic read courtesy of "NBA Playbook" blog which discusses the value of the blocked shot. Discusses the value of blocking a lay-up compared to the jump shot. Guys like Dwight Howard, JO and Amare Stoudemire are fantastic shot blockers, but have a tendency of swatting the balls into the upper decks of arenas. They might not be as good as guys like Bargnani who have a knack in getting more "Russells" than guys like Howard and Stoudemire's which allow more opportunities to capitalize on.

    To understand what I'm saying, click the link below to read on. In the meantime here's a little snippet of what a "Russell" is:

    Type Of Block

    Is blocking a lay-up more valuable than blocking a jump-shot? Mr. Huizinga’s data says yes. In his presentation, he said that it all comes down to expected value. A jumper has an expected point value of 1.04 while a lay-up has an expected point value of 1.54. Looking at it this way, Brendon Haywood, who many people is a very good defender (me included) actually is a less valuable shot blocker than Jermaine O’Neal.

    Haywood gets 69% of his blocks on jumpers, meaning he only blocks 31% of the more valuable lay-ups. On the other end of the spectrum, 91% of Jermaine O’Neal’s blocks were on lay-up attempts, while only 9% of his blocks were the less-valuable jump shots.


    Many people who have seen Bill Russell play (or have seen highlights) know that Bill Russell was remembered for blocking shots for his teammates, starting a fast break (called by Bill Simmons as “Russells”. Mr. Huizinga showed that this doesn’t really happen in the NBA anymore. There have only been 7 players (in the 7 season where the data was tracked) who accumulated more than 20 “Russells” in a season.
    Source - Click here

  • #2
    Excellent link and interesting stats. Thanks Doc!


    • #3
      Dave wrote: View Post
      Excellent link and interesting stats. Thanks Doc!
      Cheers Dave .... I'll admit that most times I'm not thinking of the bigger picture outside of a nice stop which the block creates. Its the effects on how the block can impact going the other way. I love the term "Russells" now.

      I definitely think when it comes to our team that Bargnani might actually be our best shot blocker. I mean, Amir and Bosh are great when it comes to blocking, but rarely do you see their's result in a fast break going the other way.


      • #4
        Forcing turnovers is the Raps biggest defensive weakness, although defensive rebounding an opponent effective field goal percentage are also weak. The raps score a lot of points, but have to work very hard for them, because they're not getting many easy fast break points.

        Take a look at "Defense Four Factors":


        • #5
          He's ignoring the fact that blocking a jumper is more likely to lead to a fastbreak opportunity than blocking a layup.