July 23, 2014

WFNY Stats & Info: Tristan Thompson’s improving blocked rate

I noticed this comment on my latest edition of The Diff from Wedensday. This one fellow believes that Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson is being blocked less often than last year.

So, I decided to look into his game log from this season, before/after Dec. 19, the game when center Anderson Varejao got hurt.

Type GP FGA/G BLKD/G BLKD%
Since 12/19 28 11.29 1.50 13.3%
Thru 12/18 26 7.42 1.27 17.1%

Verdict: Yes. Along with the better shooting percentages (or intuitively because of it?) Thompson also is getting blocked less often since Varejao’s been out. Still a pretty high number. But noticeably less.

For a bit of added context, according to HoopData, the average blocked percentage in the NBA this season is 6.1 percent. Among full-time regulars, I only spot three players that are clearly worse than Thompson this season at this category: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Reggie Evans and Austin Rivers. Yikes.

Also notable, ESPN stats guru Kevin Pelton mentioned rookie Thomas Robinson’s blocked percentage in his trade analysis today. He wrote: “He has had a tough time dealing with shot-blockers in the paint and is getting more than 10 percent of his shots rejected, per Hoopdata.com, one reason he’s shooting just 42.9 percent from the field.”

So yes, again, this isn’t exactly time to celebrate boisterously about Thompson’s blocked shot improvements as he’s still well below league-average. But improvements are improvements nonetheless.

[Related: The Diff: Cavalier notes on Tristan, turnovers, trades, etc]

  • Vindictive_Pat

    As much as I have loved TT’s growth this season, I still wish that he didn’t find it sacrilegious to pass when he’s been trapped under the basket. I do have to give him credit for improving at forcing his way up and getting the ball to drop into the hoop more often in those situations, but he eventually needs to learn when to pass the ball out.

  • Roosevelt

    Speaking of Thompson, while his numbers last night were not good, he seemed to be working on incorporating more ball handling and maneuvering, with not entirely bad results. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that, with the caveat that the finishing has to get a bit better.

  • Harv 21

    agree, but looking to pass back out seems completely beyond the basics he’s mastering like countermoves when he’s trapped low, He still looks like a new driver staring only at the road in front him, and he’s not ready to calmly lift his sightline toward teammates.
    But he’s showing so much more confidence lately that I think this off-season will produce a very different player next year. That little push/hooky shot is better and more range, and as soon as they have to defend that he’ll be able to drive much more easily. The extra minutes and responsibility without Andy turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to him.