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.
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.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.