So I thought about this, I don’t know if others have looked this up but I was interested so I did some research.
Blocks are blocks right? Well, some blocks can spark a fastbreak for your team, while others give the ball back to the offense with a chance to score. Obviously, the former is what you want and the latter is what you want to avoid.
Basically, I just looked through hundreds of play by plays to look for every single block this year of the top 10 blockers (blocks per game) this year (per ESPN stats), and check the line after the block to see who ends up with the ball. Is it the offense, or did the defense (blocker’s team) recover it?
And yes, I know sometimes a guy will block it and the offense will recover it with 3sec on the shotclock at the 3 line, which results in a horrible shot. That’s not what I’m looking at. When you look at rebound stats, you see how many offensive/defensive reb a team had, and don’t say “well that O Reb didn’t count since it resulted in a bad last second shot… they have 10 instead of 11”. I’m looking at blocks, and who ended up with the ball after that. Blocks that go out of bounds of course go back to the offense.
Top 10 Blockers in the NBA (bpg)
1. Andrew Bogut - 2.81
2. JaVale McGee - 2.61
3. Darko Milicic - 2.35
4. Amar’e Stoudemire - 2.35
5. Dwight Howard - 2.23
6. Serge Ibaka - 2.12
7. Tim Duncan - 2.02
8. Pau Gasol - 1.95
9. Al Jefferson - 1.93
10. Marcus Camby - 1.87
Top 5 Blockers in the NBA, sorted by Block Recovery Rate* (followed by total blocks recovered by defense - total blocks recovered by offense)
1. Andrew Bogut - 66.7% (58-29)
2. Al Jefferson - 63.3% (50-29)
3. Marcus Camby - 63% (46-27)
4. Tim Duncan - 62.7% (52-31)
5. Serge Ibaka - 59.8% (52-35)
6. Darko Milicic - 59.6% (56-38)
7. Amar’e Stoudemire - 54.3% (51-43)
8. JaVale McGee - 53.5% (53-46)
9. Howard - 49.4% (43-44)
10. Pau Gasol - 44% (37-47)
We’re halfway through the season, so now is an ok time to check this out. These stats are accurate as of January 19th (before the games played that day).
*The “Block Recovery Rate” is blocks recovered by the defense (blocker’s team) divided by total blocks; a higher % means that the blocker’s team came up with the ball more often than not, which is a very good thing.