For no good reason, I give you highlights more than a fortnight old: the NBA.com top ten plays from November 9, 2014. Behold:
Long-time readers (I know you’re out there) will be pleased to note the appearances of It Goes to XI favorites like the Manimal, Kenneth Faried (checking in at #7 after chasing down Wesley Matthews of the Blazers) and preferred eBay customer Mason Plumlee (earning the #2 spot for working the pick and roll with Deron Williams and introducing Aaron Gordon to the league).
For what it’s worth, Sixers rookie KJ McDaniels deserved better than #6 for that vicious rejection of Greivis Vasquez. McDaniels, a Clemson product, is an impressive shot blocker, ranking 33rd in the league per NBA.com with 1.2 blocks per game (while playing only 22.7 minutes per game). Not bad for a guy listed at 6’6″.
Leading the league in blocks per game this season is Anthony Davis at 3.5 per contest. This represents a marked improvement over last season, when Davis led the league at a mere 2.8 per. Should he continue his present pace for the entire season, however, Davis would not even crack the top 25 list for NBA shot-blocking seasons (on a per-game basis). In order to do that, Davis would have to beat the 3.72 blocks per game posted by Alonzo Mourning in the 1999-2000 season.
A look at that top 25 list is surprising in that four of the top 15 seasons belong to Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz. In 1984-85, Eaton notched the best single-season average in NBA history, rejecting an unprecedented 5.56 shots per game; no one else has ever averaged more than five over a single season. (In fairness to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, blocks were not an official statistic until the 1973-74 season).