Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking the 5 best shot blockers on the 2021-22 roster

May 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 11: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)h9\ /

Since the arrival of head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Milwaukee Bucks have turned into a defensive juggernaut during the regular season.

This defensive philosophy centers primarily around not allowing easy shots at the rim and contesting all shots around the basket. Even this past season, although Budenholzer became more willing to change defensive strategies throughout the regular season and in the playoffs, the Bucks’ primary identity always remained the same: not allow points at the basket.

While there are two players that are the face of this defensive strategy, there are still some relatively decent shot blockers on the Bucks roster. In 2018-19, the Bucks were second in blocks per game at 5.9 (486 total blocked shots) and were third the following year with 5.9 per game once again. This past season, however, they fell to 19th in blocks per game at 4.6 due to the aforementioned willingness to change defensive styles.

It also had to do with the roster construction as the backup big men weren’t as adept at blocking shots as the previous big men were (Robin Lopez, John Henson, etc.). Still, the Bucks can count on a few guys to contest shots and get their hand on it to force a miss.

Ranking the best shot blockers on the Milwaukee Bucks: No. 5 – Bobby Portis

Despite the low shot blocking totals as an NBA player, Bobby Portis was a pretty decent shot-blocker in college. Across 70 college games for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Portis posted 104 total blocks (1.5 per game). That’s more than he had in his first 315 NBA games, where he racked up 94 blocks.

He now sits at 120 career blocks, as that’s just never been a huge strength in Portis’ game. He did average a career-high in blocks this past season with 26, but obviously, that’s a relatively low number for a big.

The acquisition of Portis was part of the reason why the Bucks’ overall shot-blocking numbers took a bit of a dip last season. He’s not the same player as Robin Lopez, where he can contest shots at the rim and get blocked shots. One positive note for Portis as he enters the 2021-22 season, he held opponents to a 55.3 percent field goal percentage on shots within six feet; a career-best for Portis and the only time he’s been below 60 percent since his rookie season, per