Monday, January 26, 2009

The Possible Influence of Rest on Josh Smith's Block Rate Since Returning From His High Ankle Sprain

In response to the third bulleted item in this post on The Human Highlight Blog:
Defensively, Smith ended a 2 game blockless streak (inspiring CoCo from the Vent to Comment and the HHB to openly break down the break down in Smith's blocked shot output) by swatting (3) for the night---and he seemed to be looking for the rejection with his defensive body language more in this game. Was it the extra rest between the Tuesday game against the Bulls and Friday night that made the difference in his energy? That's right, we're calling out newly ESPN minted Hoopinion to track the blocked shot rate when Smith has had extra rest since coming back from his early season injury vs. when he has had to play closer together.
Josh Smith played three full games before spraining his ankle. He blocked ten shots in those three games. He didn't block a shot in the 11 minutes he played against Toronto in the game in which he suffered the injury. Since returning, he has played on 0, 1, 2, 3, and 25 days rest. Here's a table showing how many shots he's blocked per game listed by the number of days of rest.

Days of RestBlocks/Game# of games

A small sample size to be sure, but, since returning from injury, Josh Smith has blocked more shots when he's had at least one day of rest between games* and he's blocking significantly fewer shots (both in per game and BLK% terms) than any of the previous four seasons. Something to pay attention to going forward.

*Though the amount of rest beyond a single day doesn't seem to have had any positive influence on his shot blocking.

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