Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.
Today’s stat is the number of blocks the Wizards average per game, which is...
That’s tied for the fifth-best average in the league, which is remarkable when you compare Washington with the other five teams in the averaging at least six per game.
The Heat and Lakers have some of the best shot-blockers in the league. Hassan Whiteside and JaVale McGee both average over 2 blocks per game. The Warriors, Grizzlies, and Hawks have smart big men that bait teams into bad shots and put teammates in position to make weak-side rejections.
The Wizards don’t have either of those things. Washington doesn’t have a single player in the top 35 in blocks per game. The first person that shows up on the league leaders list is Bradley Beal, who is averaging a little over a block per game. John Wall is right behind him at exactly one per contest.
No one else gets close to that one per game mark, but here’s where it gets interesting: Every other player in the rotation, save for Austin Rivers and Tomas Satoransky, averages at least half a block per game. When you add it all up, it’s enough to make up for the team’s lack of a true shot-blocker in the middle.
The thing is, the shot-blocking hasn’t been enough to fix the Wizards’ defense. They’re still a bottom-five defensive team in spite of all their rejections this season. But when it comes to getting to the team’s defensive issues this season, the lack of a shot-blocking big man has been much less of an issue than anyone could have expected at the start of the season.