All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain:

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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#2 » by Jaivl » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:12 am

Man, this is amazing! Much thanks.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#3 » by Johnny Firpo » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:20 am

As expected, crazy numbers. They would obviously not average anything close to that today, but they are still some of the most "transportable" vintage all time greats.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#4 » by colts18 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:04 pm

There is some selection bias. A newspaper won't report it if they had like 2 blocks in the game. It would be like saying Michael Jordan averaged 40 PPG because of newspaper headlines that only pointed out his great games.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#5 » by CavaliersFTW » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:09 pm

colts18 wrote:There is some selection bias. A newspaper won't report it if they had like 2 blocks in the game. It would be like saying Michael Jordan averaged 40 PPG because of newspaper headlines that only pointed out his great games.

I mean, there are multiple games of Wilt blocking 1 shot in there, and Russell 2, etc

It might not be all that off the mark.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#6 » by CavaliersFTW » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:11 pm

Here is some official blocked shot data from other players of the Russell / Wilt era:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: (3.5 - 4.1bpg from '74 to '80)
Nate Thurmond: (2.9 bpg in '74)
Elvin Hayes: (3.0 bpg in '74)
Elmore Smith: (4.9 bpg in '74)
LeRoy Ellis: (1.1 bpg in '74)
Willis Reed: (1.1 bpg in '74 - on less than 30 minutes)
Dave Cowens: (1.3 bpg in '74)
Bob Lanier: (3.0 bpg in '74)
Otto Moore: (1.7 bpg in '76 - on less than 30 minutes)
Wes Unseld: (0.9 bpg in '74)
Artis Gilmore in the ABA: (5.0 bpg in '72, 3.1 and 3.4 '73-'74)
Zelmo Beaty in the ABA: (1.0 bpg in '72)

Even a few of the more prolific ones such as Jabbar, Elmore Smith and Artis Gilmore (all in the 4-5 range at some point) don't appear to be close to Wilt or Russell at least based on the data available
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#7 » by Mazter » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:29 pm

The best BLK% of all time (actually since 73-74) is Bol with 10.8%. Whiteside is averaging 10.7% in the first 7 games. For Wilt to have this kind of % in the 61-62 season he would need to average 12 blks per game. In the 2 games in the link he averaged at least 14.5 per game. But I'm sure he wouldn't keep this up in the remaining 78 games.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#8 » by D.Brasco » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:48 pm



How accurate do you believe this data to be? I'm assuming you got these stats from newspaper references? I'm only asking since they weren't yet an "officially" kept stat at the time was there true accuracy on their reporting as compared to today at least?

Were the sports reporters doing the tallying?
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#9 » by Johnlac1 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:43 pm

I remember reading that someone kept a tally of Chamberlain's blocks one game, and he ended up with 26.
But Russell was the quicker leaper and had more range. In one game in the '62 or'63 playoffs that can be seen on the internet he blocked four of West's shots a few of which were outside the lane.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#10 » by Cuban_Linx » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:57 pm

This doesn't look trustworthy to be honest. On one it says "Blocked 9 shots and nicked at least a dozen more" and it's just tallied as 21 blocks. If this is all just based on newspaper reports the stats are not trustworthy at all.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#11 » by Quick Eye » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:49 pm

Great find. I always knew Wilt blocked more shots than Russell. One of my very old friends saw Wilt play many, many times and he always said, "If they kept track of blocks, Wilt and Russell would have averaged triple-doubles just like Oscar did." My friend thinks if they kept track of blocks, Wilt would have been the triple-double leader of the NBA by a wide margin to boot.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#12 » by CavaliersFTW » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:22 pm

Cuban_Linx wrote:This doesn't look trustworthy to be honest. On one it says "Blocked 9 shots and nicked at least a dozen more" and it's just tallied as 21 blocks. If this is all just based on newspaper reports the stats are not trustworthy at all.

That's a bit extreme.

Discredit everything because some reported numbers seem questionable? I'd just take it for what it is, newspaper data. I personally don't think they're likely to be that off the mark, and I try to error on the side of conservative I actually didn't catch that 21 block tally personallly i'd have tallied 9 there and not counted the "nicked" anecdote but someone else filled that in.

From games I've seen where it can be checked the block numbers tend to line up no worse than official blocked shot statistics line up with 80's or 90's NBA games. Which aren't always 100% accurate in their own right. But having a collective average over several hundred games hopefully tends to iron out those inaccuracies. Give a few here, miss a few there. Homing cooking from one game, away game bias another game, Etc. Of course hold with a grain of salt, an asterisk etc, but it's still presumably numbers counted by some individual who watched the game. The same way official stats were done from the 80's or 90's.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#13 » by Warspite » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:23 am

Even todays reb, blocks, steals and assists recording has an error rate of 20-30%. Todays stats are just an estimation just as they were in the 60s.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#14 » by MyUniBroDavis » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:34 am

CavaliersFTW wrote:
Cuban_Linx wrote:This doesn't look trustworthy to be honest. On one it says "Blocked 9 shots and nicked at least a dozen more" and it's just tallied as 21 blocks. If this is all just based on newspaper reports the stats are not trustworthy at all.

That's a bit extreme.

Discredit everything because some reported numbers seem questionable? I'd just take it for what it is, newspaper data. I personally don't think they're likely to be that off the mark, and I try to error on the side of conservative I actually didn't catch that 21 block tally personallly i'd have tallied 9 there and not counted the "nicked" anecdote but someone else filled that in.

From games I've seen where it can be checked the block numbers tend to line up no worse than official blocked shot statistics line up with 80's or 90's NBA games. Which aren't always 100% accurate in their own right. But having a collective average over several hundred games hopefully tends to iron out those inaccuracies. Give a few here, miss a few there. Homing cooking from one game, away game bias another game, Etc. Of course hold with a grain of salt, an asterisk etc, but it's still presumably numbers counted by some individual who watched the game. The same way official stats were done from the 80's or 90's.


Im not sure whats crazier

that he blocked this many shots

or that Im not suprised

Not to be mean, but anyone who thinks he WOULDN'T league the league in blocks by an absolute insane margin needs to
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#15 » by Johnlac1 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:54 pm

Quick Eye wrote:Great find. I always knew Wilt blocked more shots than Russell. One of my very old friends saw Wilt play many, many times and he always said, "If they kept track of blocks, Wilt and Russell would have averaged triple-doubles just like Oscar did." My friend thinks if they kept track of blocks, Wilt would have been the triple-double leader of the NBA by a wide margin to boot.

During Wilt's last two years with the Sixers, he probably had a number of quadruple-doubles. He led the league in assists one year and was always good for at least ten points and ten rebounds. He probably had a few games where he blocked at least ten shots. Russell as well, but Russell didn't handle the ball as much in Boston's offense.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#16 » by Perkele » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:59 pm

Mazter wrote:The best BLK% of all time (actually since 73-74) is Bol with 10.8%. Whiteside is averaging 10.7% in the first 7 games. For Wilt to have this kind of % in the 61-62 season he would need to average 12 blks per game. In the 2 games in the link he averaged at least 14.5 per game. But I'm sure he wouldn't keep this up in the remaining 78 games.


Also interesting that Bol has a career average (in 624 games played) of 10.2 in terms of BLK%, which is flat out nasty.... man, RIP Manute, you were always fun to watch.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#17 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:38 pm



Very cool.

Obviously we shouldn't use this data to make definitive statements about averages but it's educational nonetheless.

I don't really doubt that these guys blocked more shots than anyone else in later eras. The pace was faster, and it was the first era where shooter really had to deal with beasts of this level.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#18 » by Tinseltown » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:06 pm

Or more likely, newspapers only reported on the number of blocks when Wilt and Russell had an unusually high number of them. A typical regular season game with 0-2 blocks wouldn't get any mention of blocks at all
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#19 » by CavaliersFTW » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:46 pm

Tinseltown wrote:Or more likely, newspapers only reported on the number of blocks when Wilt and Russell had an unusually high number of them. A typical regular season game with 0-2 blocks wouldn't get any mention of blocks at all

Well did you actually look at the numbers? 1 and 2 block games are reported.

A lot of these newspapers come from sources which serve to compare a particular player or team match up to another. For example a lot of those Russell or Wilt blocks came in contrast to one or the other players lesser amount of blocks that same game. Or contrasted with Jabbar, Bellamy, Thurmond, etc. IE "Jabbar blocked 5 shots to Wilt's 4". It's not to boast about either player, it's just to compare their production.

In other words, they aren't newspapers or journalists just cherry picking great shot blocking games. There are games where prolific shot blocks are pointed out but there are also just games where blocked shot data is used for comparison.

I don't think it's a collection of the best games. Also, some of that data comes from film, or mentions by coaches. It isn't even all newspaper data. I believe it's unlikely that with 112 or 135 random games worth of shot block data that it will be highly biased towards the best of the best when the intent of the mention, and the variety of sources is so diverse.
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Re: All known blocked shot data of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain: 

Post#20 » by theonlyclutch » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:01 pm

If this is a representative sample, using the blocked shot numbers:
Bill Russell:
Sample Average - 8.06 BPG
Sample S.D - 3.71
Sample Size - 135
Estimate Career BPG (99% Conf Interval) - ~7.2-8.9 BPG
Wilt Chamberlain:
Sample Average - 8.63 BPG
Sample S.D - 4.05
Sample Size - 112
Estimate Career BPG (99% Conf Interval) - ~7.7-9.6 BPG

If one believes that there is a "high" bias going on, taking out the 11 highest block numbers leads to a range of:
Bill Russell - 6.7-8.0 BPG
Wilt Chamberlain - 7.0-8.5 BPG
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