Which is why it’s so strange to find him at the top of the leaderboard for rejections of his own shot. It almost sounds like a paradox. It’s not exactly a feat you’d associate with a player who opposing coaches compare to Shaq. Williamson has had his shot blocked 104 times this season, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Not only is that the most in the league, but it’s 33 more than the next player (Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton) on the list. Opponents have swatted 2.1 of his shots per game — the highest frequency among players with at least 41 games played since Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1998-99. Williamson’s pace is the third-highest in the 25 seasons that the NBA has tracked this data.2
“He showed up every single day to work,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Lamar Stevens. “He plays with a grit and tenacity that everyone has to respect. He’s a team-first guy. He works his tail off. And he’s proven that he belongs in this league. Coming from a two-way position, earning the respect of his teammates, other players around the league, the coaching staff and front office. It’s a credit to him and the hard work that he’s put in.”