Brook Lopez And Travis Outlaw - Best Shot Blockers in the League

  First of all we all know Lopez is a beast center, one of the best young ones in the game.  However one side of him that isn't widely known is that he is a top-10 player in terms of points saved for each block.  And you know who else is a good shot blocker?  Travis Outlaw.  At first the Outlaw signing confused me.  He was never a good player and the Nets are paying him 35 million in the next 5 years.  I said the signing sucked.  Well boy was I wrong. The Nets FO are geniuses. 

I'm still not going to expect anything from Outlaw offensively.  His value will come from defense.  Most notably his shot blocking skills.  Just to be clear, all blocks are not created equal.  Someone will look at Outlaw's block totals and say he's not that good but you are wrong.

What's more likely to score? A layup/dunk or a jump shot?  Obviously a layup/dunk.  If you assign them values and you find out what kind of blocks a player did then you can find out roughly how many points a blocker has saved for every block.  For a more detailed explanation go here...

We can assign values for either shot location or shot type which will yield slightly different results.

For shot location which is based on feet from the basket:


These are the top 10 shot blockers by location.  Brook barely misses the cut at 1.107 points saved by block based on location.  Just .010 from being top 10.  That's VERY impressive.  Travis Outlaw saved 1.083 points per block based on location.  Those two are very very good blockers.


Now on to shot type. It's assigning values for layups and jumpshots.  Using those for calculations we get the top 10 here.

As you can see Brook is a top 10 blocker in terms of points saved by type. Outlaw has a .0987 in terms of points saved per type.  It's .030 points away from being top 10.

Now that we established the points saved by blocks we should also see the outcome after the block.  Yes the shot is blocked therefore you saved points but who gets possession afterwards?  Did your block give your offense a possession or did you give the opposing team another chance?

Here's a quote of where I found this.

For PctBlockDefRebAlive (aka Bill Simmons's Bill Russell stat), the median value for PctBlockDefRebAlive is about 55%. 45% puts a guy at the 5th percentile; 64% at the 95th. Dwight Howard does seem to consistently fall below the first quartile for this stat. As a rookie, he put up a fantastic figure for this stat with 62% of his blocks ending with a defensive rebound, which put him at the 91st percentile of the population. Since then, the best he's done is to get up to the 25th percentile this season. 

It is worth noting that Chris Andersen is the guy that Bill Simmons should have called out. He's in the 4th percentile with just under 45% of his blocks ending up in the hands of teammates. To stay on the bad-outcome side of the coin for a minute, Chris Andersen also puts fully one-third of his blocks into the "alive ball" hands of his opponents, while Rony Turiaf puts over 37% back to the opponents for a new shot. 

So, how are the best shot blockers this season on the Bill Simmons stat? On a rate basis, Travis Outlaw put almost 70% of his blocks into the hands of his teammates but Outlaw did not lead the league in the counting stat. Who did? Who blocked the most shots directly into the hands of his opponent? Dwight Howard. Huh? you ask. When we're talking about the counting stat, Dwight Howard basically led the league in every sub-category of blocked shots this season because he blocked enough more than everyone else. Second in the counting stat is Yao Ming, followed by Samuel Dalembert

Brook and Outlaw are among league leaders in points saved by their blocks.  But not only did Outlaw save points, he also gave his teammates the ball when he does block.  In conclusion the Nets are going to be beast in 2010-2011.  Now only will their middle of the pack defense be better their offense will get a boost from several acquisitions like Morrow. They aren't a real championship contender but you better get used to playoff talk because that is definitely possible.  Anyone planning on tanking for a top 5 pick to build a team through the draft are out of luck.  

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