Type Of Block
Is blocking a lay-up more valuable than blocking a jump-shot? Mr. Huizinga’s data says yes. In his presentation, he said that it all comes down to expected value. A jumper has an expected point value of 1.04 while a lay-up has an expected point value of 1.54. Looking at it this way, Brendon Haywood, who many people is a very good defender (me included) actually is a less valuable shot blocker than Jermaine O’Neal.
Haywood gets 69% of his blocks on jumpers, meaning he only blocks 31% of the more valuable lay-ups. On the other end of the spectrum, 91% of Jermaine O’Neal’s blocks were on lay-up attempts, while only 9% of his blocks were the less-valuable jump shots.
Many people who have seen Bill Russell play (or have seen highlights) know that Bill Russell was remembered for blocking shots for his teammates, starting a fast break (called by Bill Simmons as “Russells”. Mr. Huizinga showed that this doesn’t really happen in the NBA anymore. There have only been 7 players (in the 7 season where the data was tracked) who accumulated more than 20 “Russells” in a season.