Jazz’s Gobert, Raptors’ Biyombo lead league in this key defensive stat

Toronto's Bismack Biyombo makes opponents think twice at the rim.
John Raoux/AP

The modern NBA team is built around several principles. You need 3-point shooters. A point guard who can break down defenses and make the right decisions off the pick-and-roll helps. And a rim protecting big man can make all the difference when everything else falls apart on that end of the floor.

And when it comes to rim protection, there are two names who stand above all the rest so far this season. One is a given — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is without a doubt the best rim protector in the NBA. But Toronto Raptors big man Bismack Biyombo's strong defensive presence might surprise some, according to the National Post:

Biyombo will get a chance to show off his defensive prowess with Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas injured. And that's the biggest difference between these two rim protecting bigs. Rudy Gobert deters shots for the duration of a game. Biyombo, on the other hand, has mostly been stout in reserve minutes. If he can keep it up, then he might become as familiar a name to NBA fans as Gobert.

According to Nylon Calculus, a basketball analytics website, opponents are shooting just 39.7 per cent at the rim when Biyombo contests a shot. Of true shot blockers, only Utah’s Rudy Gobert exceeds Biyombo, who fits right alongside confirmed difference makers such as Tim Duncan, Roy Hibbert and Serge Ibaka in this category. The Raptors’ improvement containing guards on the perimeter is the biggest reason they are ninth in points allowed per possession so far, but Biyombo’s presence has definitely helped.

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