NBA’s Spookiest Shot Swatters
It’s Halloween, a day where scary people are everywhere, including on the hardwood. The league is filled with horrifying shot swatters so on the spookiest day of the year let’s examine some of the scariest in the Association.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
“The Stifle Tower” is absolutely terrifying for opposing scorers, leading the NBA last year in blocks per game at 2.6 . Gobert has been in the top 3 in block percentage each of the last four seasons, ranking first overall in 2014/15 (7.0%) and 2016/17 (6.4%).
Simply put, Rudy is frightening.
The face of the franchise after Hayward’s departure (get well soon, Gordon) , Gobert is averaging 13 ppg and 11 rpg through six games. Gobert gobbles up rebounds and he maintains a sky high field goal percentage, fourth in the league at 67 percent. I’m curious if his offensive role will expand more, but he is only taking one more shot (8.2) per game than he did last season.
Nevertheless, the big French man will continue to shot swats at an elite level for the Jazz, anchoring a team with the fourth best defensive rating in the league.
The 28 year old led the NBA in blocks per game in 2015-16 with 3.7 and then finished fourth behind Gobert, Anthony Davis, and young stud Myles Turner.
Whiteside inhales rebounds, leading the NBA last season with an astounding 14.1 per game. Hassan finished last season third in rebound percentage, and his on court production is matched with his stellar Twitter game, notably for his spout with Joel Embiid and the #EmbiidEclipse.
Whiteside is currently sidelined with a bone bruise in his knee, and he’s been limited to one game in the early season. There’s already been way too many injuries in the NBA season so far, so let’s hope we can see the big man back out there soon.
The Sports Quotient
When you combine the shot blocking acumen of the two previous terrors in this article with a 25 ppg scoring threat you have a unicorn like AD. The two time Defensive Player of the Year, the Brow was the NBA’s premier shot blocker from 2013-2015.
Davis ridiculous size and length allows him to induce panic on those who come in his path, averaging at least two blocks per game each year since 13/14. Stuffing the stat sheet is something Davis excels at, finishing in the top ten in scoring average four times and rebounding five times.
The Brow is producing once again this year for the 3-4 Pelicans. In addition to Davis’ spooky shot blocking, he is averaging a double double at 27 and 12, and has shot the three pointer well so far. Taking three per game, Davis has upped both his attempts and his efficiency, converting triples at a 46 percent clip.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ early season MVP candidate Giannis needs NO costume tonight as he is the scariest of them all.
This could be because his arms extend for miles, or at 6’11 he can block shots that few outside of the spookiest can. This could also be because he’s freakishly athletic and versatile, evidenced by leading his team in points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks.
However you want to describe Giannis, he certainly belongs on this list after averaging 1.9 blocks per game last season.
This season, Giannis has really emerged, averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage. The excitement about Giannis is real , but let’s not let his gaudy offensive numbers overshadow the terror the Freak can bring to opposing offenses.
Ghosts from the Past
These 3 players have returned from a past life to terrorize opponents…
Tyreke Evans – Memphis Grizzlies
Evans has revitalized his career with a steady diet of BBQ Chicken and Memphis blues. Still only 28, Tyreke has shown he can play when healthy…
His impressive rookie campaign saw him average over 20 points 5 assists and 5 rebounds putting him in company with MJ, The Big O, and Lebron as the only players ever to put up a 20/5/5 in their first NBA season. Oh, and by the way he won rookie of the year in 2010 beating out a guy named Stephen Curry.
We haven’t heard from Evans since…until now
Tyreke is motivated in Memphis and is currently averaging a career high 6.3 rebounds while shooting a scorching 41% from 3. Memphis’ depth has propelled them to a league-leading 5-2 record, putting to bed the NBA analysts that all put them outside the playoffs.
The ghost of Evans looks lean and mean and ready for a Western Conference bloodbath.
DeMarre Carroll – Brooklyn Nets
The Ghost of DeMarre roams free in the Brooklyn Barclays tormenting Lebron and any other unwelcome visitors.
At 31 years old DeMarre is having the single best year of his career. Through 7 games he is averaging personal bests across the board with 14.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 2 threes per game on 41% shooting.
Carroll, the prototypical 3-and-D player, became a full-time starter for the Hawks at 27 years old. He then was moved to Toronto to be the Lebron stopper they needed (lol) and signed a lucrative 4 year 58 million contract. Last offseason in an attempt to rebuild, sort of, the Raptors shipped him to Brooklyn along with draft picks to clear the Canadian books.
In a past life Carroll was hobbled with knee injuries… but ghosts don’t need knees.
Rudy Gay – San Antonio Spurs
Gay played the bulk of his 10 year-career for Memphis and Sacramento as a wing scorer and heady defender. After years of criticism for his subpar offensive efficiency, and an achilles tendon tear late last year, the 30 year old Rudy Gay was written off by a large part of the NBA community.
The Spurs in Spurs’ fashion capitalized on the stagnant market and signed Rudy for a 2 year 17.2 million deal.
Now, after a speedy offseason recovery, the Ghost of Gay has turned in his most efficient campaign to boot. He is the second-leading scorer on a 4-3 spurs team with 12.1 points per game on a career best 48% from the field.
Gay is a legitimate candidate of for 6th man of the year and has found a nice niche in San Antonio.