An Invitation to The Sixers Open Block Party


Despite the struggles the Sixers are facing this year (that winning games thing seems to be pretty hard to do), the team has been fun to watch.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown made it clear this year that he wanted to focus more on defense. In his second year as head coach, Brown has moved the Sixers up from being 27 in overall defensive efficiency to 13, which is a huge jump.

The Sixers are currently third in the league in blocks, first in steals, and number one in steals per play (8.8 percent).

One area on defense that has noticeably approved is shot blocking. According to, the Sixers are second in the league with a blocking percentage of 7.3, compared to a percentage of 4.7 that they held last year which ranked them 26 out of 30 NBA teams.

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The improved shot-blocking didn’t happen overnight. The Sixers added three rookies in K.J McDaniels, Nerlens Noel, and Jerami Grant, who are long, tremendous athletes known for their effort and defensive instincts.

So far this year, Noel is averaging 1.7 blocks per game, giving him a total of 74 blocks in just 44 games. He leads all rookies in blocks and steals per game. His stout rim protecting was showcased in a recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves where Nerlens had six, count ’em, SIX no-nos!

Meanwhile, K.J. is averaging 1.4 blocks per game and has a total of 64 blocks in 47 games. The rook is known more for the way he ferociously swats shots away, rather than the amount of blocks he has. He literally gave a fan a concussion from a shot he blocked into the seats.

Grant, who had somewhat of a rocky start, has come on strong as of late with 35 blocks in 33 games and is averaging of 1.1 blocks per contest. Grant is feared in New York City now after stuffing eight of the Knicks’ attempts in a game earlier this season.

If I were to create an ad for Sixers’ opponents to see whenever they played Philly, I would make it look something like this:

“That’s right, the Sixers are hosting a block party every night they play a game. If you’re an opposing player and interested in purchasing a ticket to have your shot rejected, please see rookies Nerlens Noel, K.J. McDaniels or Jerami Grant for more information.

We have seating for players of all positions. Are you a wing player? No worries! Thanks to McDaniels’ and Grant’s length and athleticism, you can have your shot blocked even along the perimeter.

Or, if you’re old-fashioned and like having your dunk sent flying back to half court, just come charging down the middle and Mr. Noel will be more than happy to accommodate you.

This is shot blocking extravaganza that’s fun for the whole arena. For those fans sitting near the hardwood, please remember to bring your hardhats so you can avoid any potential head injuries! See you soon at the Sixers’ block party.

Sponsored by the mad genius Sam Hinkie.”

OK, maybe an ad like that would be a bit over-the-top, but it would be fun.

Having these blocking fiends guarding our basket is a reassuring thought. Just imagine what their numbers will be like when they are a few years into the league. Crazy, right?

So enjoy the show, Sixers’ faithful. I have a hunch that it’s going to be exciting for quite some time.