NBA Today: 5 Greatest shot blockers in the league right now
The blocked shot is a last line of defense to guard against the opposition from scoring. Players who are effective at this skillset can influence the opposition psychologically with physical effects. A blocked shot electrifies the crowd, swings the momentum, and even can save crucial games.
What it also does is affect the opponent's style of play. A good rim protector can cause shooters to hesitate and pass the ball rather than risk getting rejected. It can shake an opponent’s confidence or it can make them even more determined. It also allows perimeter defenders to be aggressive knowing that if they force an opponent into a shot blocker or get blown by their efforts defensively.
The drawback to the blocked shot is that it often is a swatted or deflected ball making possession 50/50 thereafter.
Otherwise, it gets swatted out of play giving the offense a chance to recompose and find a better shot. Here is a look at the 5 greatest shot blockers in the NBA today:
#5 Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
Myles Turner was drafted 11th overall in 2015 by the Indiana Pacers. He has played extremely well for the Pacers since his rookie season. In 2019, he averaged over 13 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
One stat that really helped the Indiana Pacers is that they were No.1 in opposition scoring at 104.7 ppg. A big part of their fifth place finish in the Eastern Conference was their solid defensive play anchored by Myles Turner who blocked an average of 2.7 shots per game.
This translates to nearly three defensive possessions a game that Turner denies opponents points.
When you consider that Indiana averaged 108 ppg in 2019, Turner is a big reason they won considerably more games than they lost.
The 2.7 bpg is the highest average of Turner’s four-year career. In terms of total blocks, he altered 199 shots in 2018-19 and has affected the trajectory of 575 shots for his career.