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: Jrue Holiday, Bryn Forbes, Indiana Pacers: Goga Bitadze, Aaron Holiday
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 22: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Ranking the best shot blockers on the Milwaukee Bucks: No. 4 – Mamadi Diakite

Sure, Mamadi Diakite has only played one NBA season, and it was only 14 games, but he has shown good shot-blocking instincts and has the numbers in his non-NBA career to prove it. At 6’9″ with a 7’3″ wingspan, Diakite has proven to be a very solid shot-blocker when called upon.

It starts with his college numbers, where Diakite posted 156 total blocks in his 134 games as a Virginia Cavalier. In his final two seasons — the two seasons where he was a starter — Diakite averaged 1.5 blocks per game as was a staple of a Virginia defense that allowed the fewest points per game in 2018-19 (56.1) and 2019-20 (52.4).

Then in the G League bubble, Diakite averaged over two blocks per game for the Lakeland Magic, the team that won the G League championship last season. That team also had the best defensive rating (101.0) during the 15-game regular season, and Diakite was a large reason as to why due to his shot-blocking prowess.

He hasn’t quite found his stride with the Bucks as a shot-blocker, with only 0.4 blocks per game during his rookie season and less than a block per game in Summer League. Still, he has the instincts and past production that makes you believe he’ll develop into a solid shot-blocker at some point.

Ranking the best shot blockers on the Milwaukee Bucks: No. 3 – Jrue Holiday

It might be weird to say that Jrue Holiday is the third-best shot-blocker on a team, being a 6’4″ guard, and you would have been right at the beginning of his career where he averaged 0.4 blocks per game (154 total) in his first 437 games. However, in the last 335 games, Holiday has averaged 0.7 blocks per game (247 total).

Per Cleaning the Glass, Holiday’s block rates have been in the 80th percentile or higher in every season since 2012-13. He is one of the best shot-blocking guards in the entire league and that only adds to his already ridiculous defensive abilities with steals and locking up the opposing offensive player.

Part of what makes Holiday such a great shot-blocker as a guard is his physicality. As we’ve seen, he’s not afraid to get into the offensive player’s space and bother them, that includes players much bigger than him.

Holiday has really mastered the art of timing blocks and how to get those blocks without fouling, even on jump shots which is incredibly crucial with the rules around letting a jump shooter land. Shot blocking is just another part of the incredible defensive toolkit that Holiday possesses.