Everybody knows Bill Russell blocked shots like there was no tomorrow, Whenever you get in a discussion about it, though, you’re hampered by the fact that, for the most part, they just didn’t keep a stat for that at the time.
A compilation of more than 100 games for which reports are available suggests that Bill Russell probably averaged more than 8 blocks per game over his career. That’s my biggest takeaway as far as Bill Russell goes from this post.
“There is some selection bias,” as one commenter writes. “A newspaper won’t report it if they had like 2 blocks in the game.” Or at least you would think so.
In fact however, that’s not really true. As the OP (“CavaliersFTW”) points out, “there are multiple games of Wilt blocking 1 shot in there, and Russell 2, etc.” In other words, “it might not be all that off the mark.” (Here is one of his tables.)
This is something I briefly mentioned some time ago talking about Russell’s athleticism, but just couldn’t track down the thread.
Russ vs. Wilt
Another researcher posted a similar item, focused more on the head-to-head games. This one is at GameFAQs.
The post shows that most of Wilt’s stats went down against Russell, but hardly by a huge amount. This counteracts the myth that Russell totally dominated Chamberlain when they played.
Then again, smart fans always knew that was the case. Russell himself always said that. The two players had mad respect for each other.
Here is that head-to-head table for regular season and then playoffs.
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