Larry Sanders: Possibly The Best Shot Blocker in The NBA?

Zach HerringCorrespondent IIJanuary 30, 2011

We all knew Larry Sanders could block shots, but did we know he would lead all rookies in BPG (blocks per game) and in total blocks?

Well, coming into the season, Sanders’ minutes were going to be scarce and earned, as there were already five other big men on the Milwaukee Bucks. Competing with Andrew Bogut, Drew Gooden, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jon Brockman and Ersan Illyasova is not an easy task.

Sanders is averaging 1.38 blocks per game with 44 total blocks, which is leading all rookies, as mentioned in the opening. Ed Davis of the Raptors is second with 1.1 blocks per game.

As far as the 2010 draft class goes, Sanders will probably always be known as the best shot blocker of the bunch.

A stat that jumped out at me was Sanders’ 4.65 blocks per 48 minutes (BLKP48M), which would lead all of the NBA, but Sanders doesn’t have enough minutes played to qualify. Scott Skiles knows what this young star can do but has said several times in post game interviews that he doesn’t want Sanders to force shots on offense. Skiles knows Sanders could possibly be a big defensive threat in the years to come and said that Sanders is eager to learn from vets like Andrew Bogut.

So by giving steady minutes to Sanders, it is showing that Skiles trusts him to make mature plays, and he does just that.

Sanders has settled down in January, shooting 51.2 percent (21-41). The mid-range game we saw in the Summer League is also being shown by Larry.

“I actually started shooting the mid-range shot in summer league," Sanders said.  "I shot it a couple times and it started falling.  So I said, ‘I should add this to my game.’  I worked on it and now, that’s my shot.”

For those of you who saw Larry Sanders play in college, you might be wondering why he isn’t getting even more blocks. The answer to that is the three-second rule. In the NBA, the three-second violation is watched for very carefully by refs, as in college you can sit back and wait for your opponent to come to the paint.

Larry has had a few very quality games this season including: 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks vs. the Denver Nuggets, 15 points and eight rebounds vs. the Orlando Magic and 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sanders' stats: 4.3 points, three rebounds and 1.38 blocks per game.

Also, look for Sanders in the Rookie/Sophomore game; he is rumored to be one of the players playing for the Rookies!