It has been a frustrating season for Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner, who has played some of the best basketball of his career on the defensive end when he was able to stay on the court. Sadly, multiple injuries limited him to 47 regular season games, and he’s still out indefinitely with a toe injury.
Still, while most things haven’t gone as they should this season, he ended on a high note. Thanks to an obscure NBA rule, Turner beat Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert for win the blocked shot title this season. This is the second time in the past three seasons that Turner has won this honor. Here is how it happened.
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Turner averaged 3.4 blocks per game, while Gobert was second with 2.7 blocks. But while Turner has clearly beaten Gobert in numbers, league rule states that in order to win the regular season title for a particular statistical category, a player must appear in at least 70% of games. Having played just 47 of 72 games (65.2%), Turner missed four games less than that mark. Gobert, meanwhile, played in 71 of 72 games (98.6%) and easily crossed the appearances threshold.
At that point, it looked like Gobert would take the title. However, there is another more obscure rule that came to Turner’s rescue. For players who do not meet the games threshold, the league will determine how many additional games they would need to play to reach it. Then it will assume that players did not record any such statistics in all of said additional games and calculate the season average based on the new number of hypothetical games played. If the player still leads the league with this new average, he wins the title.
Maybe it can be a little confusing, so here’s how it worked with Turner. This season, players had to appear in 51 games to reach the appearance threshold. Since Turner missed four games less than that mark, the league has scored four zero-block games. Then he divided his total number of blocks (159) by 51 instead of 47. Based on this calculation, Turner would average 3.1 blocks per game, which is still more than the 2.7 blocks in. Gobert. As a result, Turner is still the regular season blocks champion.