The NBA’s top shot-blocker is the player who leads the league in blocked shots during a particular season. This is awarded to the player with the highest blocks per game average. To qualify for the award, the player must play at least 70 games or have at least 100 blocks.
Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Mark Eaton and Marcus Camby each have won the award four times. Camby and Dikembe Mutombo won the award in three straight seasons, which is the record for most consecutive blocked shots titles won. Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers is the reigning top-shot blocker in the NBA. Turner averaged 2.7 blocks per game last season. This coming season, the NBA betting gods have put Turner among the favorites to lead the league in blocked shots again.
Here are the odds to lead the NBA in blocked shots during the 2019-20 NBA season. These odds were taken from MyBookie.ag as of 10/22/19:
Who Are the Favorites?
Mitchell Robinson was the Knicks’ 2nd round pick (36th overall) in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 21-year old seven-footer starred for the Knicks in the 2018 Summer League where he set records for blocks and offensive rebounds. He became the first Knicks rookie since Willis Reed in 1965 to record 19 points and 21 rebounds in one game. Robinson finished behind Myles Turner in Blocks per game during the 2018-19 season with 2.4 blocks per game.
Robinson averaged 2.4 blocks per game last season while playing just 20.9 minutes per game and starting just 19 of 66 games played. When you take a look at his per 36 minutes average, it is at 4.3 blocks per 36 minutes and that’s a scary proposition. However, Robinson has played just one NBA season and I’m not sure if he can sustain that impressive shot-blocking pace.
Myles Turner was the NBA Shot Blocks leader during the 2018-19 season. Turner was the Indiana Pacers’ 11th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. After signing a $72M contract extension in 2018, Turner produced his best season in four years, putting up career highs in assists, blocks, and 3P%.
Myles Turner had 3.6 blocks per 36 minutes average last season and given that they don’t have much size behind him and Domantas Sabonis plus the fact that Victor Oladipo won’t start the season due to injury, I think Turner has a good chance of repeating because he will have more playing time this year.
Anthony Davis was the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The six-time NBA All-Star and 2017 NBA All-Star game MVP was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers this past summer. Davis led the NBA in blocks during 2014, 2015 and 2018 seasons. He averaged 2.4 blocks per game last season but played only 56 regular-season games.
Davis averaged 2.4 blocks per game last season and has a 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes average. However, Davis is playing alongside seven-footers Javale McGee and Dwight Howard in Los Angeles. AD is expected to be the Lakers’ top offensive option this season so his defense might take a backseat this year although I’m not saying he won’t play defense at all.
Rudy Gobert is the starting center for the Utah Jazz. The 2018 and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year winner is a three-time All-Defensive First team selection and a two-time All-NBA team selection. Gobert led the NBA in blocks during the 2017 NBA season and was third in blocks last season at 2.3 BPG. The Stifle Tower has a career 2.2 blocks per game average.
Last season, Gobert averaged 2.3 blocks per game in 31.8 minutes of playing time or a 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes average. But that’s because Gobert doesn’t just block shots, he plays complete defense. That’s why he’s the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
Hassan Whiteside is one of the best defensive centers in the NBA. This former All-Defensive 2nd team selection was the NBA’s blocks leader in 2016 and the NBA’s rebounding leader in 2017. Whiteside was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers last summer. He was 7th in the league in blocks at 1.9 BPG. Whiteside has a career 2.3 blocks per game average.
Kristaps Porzingis is one of the NBA’s certified “unicorns”. The 7-1 Latvian was the New York Knicks’ 4th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Porzingis surprised many with his versatility and with how quickly he adapted to the NBA brand of basketball. After suffering a season-ending injury in 2018, he missed the entirety of last season. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks before the trade deadline. Porzingis has a career average of 2.0 blocks per game. He averaged a career-high 2.4 blocks per contest in 2018 before he was injured.
Joel Embiid is probably the best center in the NBA today. Known as the “Process” because he is the symbol of the Philadelphia 76ers former Battlecry “Trust the Process”, Embiid has been dominant the past two seasons where he was named All-Star and All-NBA second-team selection. Embiid has a 2.0 BPG career average and was 6th last season at 1.9 blocks per game.
I like Rudy Gobert here because remember that the Stifle Tower was snubbed in the All-Star selection last season. When you look at the stats from Basketball-Reference, Gobert was averaging just 2.14 blocks per game before the All-Star break. In the 27 games after the break, he was swatting 2.7 shots per contest. I mean the guy won DPOY award but he wants to be recognized as an All-Star because he deserves it. I think Gobert leads the NBA in blocks this year on his way to another DPOY award.
Prediction: Rudy Gobert