In case you haven’t heard, the term “analytics” has been getting a lot of attention lately around the NBA.
It all started when Charles Barkley ripped Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey for his use of the term last month, where Sir Charles contended that it’s just a glorified name for “stats.”
Whatever you call it, there’s no question advanced data has a growing role in the NBA. So we decided to contribute our own work to the analytics party.
Which NBA players have their shot blocked the most, and in turn, the least?
Obviously, blocked shots are a stat we see regularly – but the inverse is rarely talked about. It’s definitely a list you don’t want to be on, right up there with technical fouls in the obscure stats realm. Getting your shot blocked is basically a turnover, plus you get a free serving of embarrassment on the side.
Thanks to NBA Miner, a website that keeps track of random stats like offensive fouls, defensive 3 seconds and getting your shot blocked – we get to see who makes the list nobody wants to be on.
The only requirement is that you’ve taken 300 shot attempts this season. From there it’s basic 2nd grade long division.
Notable names that just missed: Taj Gibson (10.7%), Greg Monroe (10.6%), Timofey Mozgov (10.5%), Demarcus Cousins (10.3%), Tyreke Evans (9.4%), Zach Randolph (9.3%).
Barring a dramatic turnaround, our old friend Omer Asik is the runaway champ with a staggering 22%. Pretty ironic considering the dude is seven feet tall.
At the same time, almost all of Asik’s shots are taken amongst the trees – so he’s basically asking for it. The same deal applies for Pekovic, Dieng, Plumlee, Hickson and Zeller. It’s okay guys, we know you return the love when you’re on defense.
But the four guards on the list – Elfrid Payton, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Dennis Schroder and Tony Allen – this is not where you want to be. They’re lucky we don’t send this precious data to their coaches. At least Payton and Schroder are rookies, but it looks like Allen and MKG aren’t going to be shedding their label of “defensive specialists” anytime soon.
And on the flip side, there are the guys in the NBA who don’t get their shot blocked very often. Opposite of the first list, this is where you expect to see more guards and are impressed to see big men.
Notable names that just missed: Nicolas Batum (2.3%), Joe Johnson (2.3%), Dirk Nowitzki (2.5%), Jamal Crawford (2.6%), Steph Curry (2.7%), LaMarcus Aldridge (3.0%).
It’s no surprise that savvy vets Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Andre Iguodala lead the way – and apparently Daryl Morey does use analytics because he traded for Terry this offseason. Durant (who I thought would be first prior to the research) confirms that it is truly impossible to guard him. Maybe Garnett can teach Dieng and Pekovic how to get off the bad list now that he’s back in Minnesota.
Other things of note: J.R. Smith and Gerald Green love to launch, Kyle Korver’s insanely quick-release obviously made it, Chris Paul is ridiculously good and Wesley Johnson finally has something to show for being the 4th overall pick in 2010.
Also, that list of guys who just missed – Steph Curry, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Jamal Crawford, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicolas Batum – would be the best team in the NBA right now.
How’s that for analytics?