Awards preview: EuroLeague Best Defender – News
A look at the list of top contenders for the EuroLeague Best Defender Award on the eve of the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. helps to argue that defense wins championships. Why do you ask? Because six of the players on this list are EuroLeague champions! Let’s take a look.
Bryant Dunston, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Twice the EuroLeague’s best defender and all-time leader of the block competition, Bryant Dunston anchors the frontline for defending champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Unlike other rim protectors on this list, Dunston relies less on his size and more on his quick jump to challenge the weak side and crush hits. Once he disrupts a few shots from the weak side, opponents are staggered.
Pierria Henry, Fenerbahçe Beko Istanbul
No player has recorded more thefts in the past two seasons than Pierria Henry, who brought her ball peddling skills to Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul over the summer. A quick, smart, and tough defender on the ball, Henry’s value isn’t just in the steals he collects – 99 (1.68 per game) since 2019, but in the time he’s forcing the leaders. opponents to waste in setting up the offensive and thus strengthening the defense of his team in each position.
Kyle Hines, AX Armani Exchange Milan
A team player par excellence, Kyle Hines has been doing everything for teams for over a decade and is now second in the all-time standings for blocked shots. He is a four-time EuroLeague champion and two-time best defender who uses his great speed, quick hands and fantastic timing to surprise and disrupt bigger players, resulting in thefts and blockages, or his strength for them. undo on the blocks. In addition, his experience has made Hines a leader on both sides of the court.
Nikola Kalinic, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Nikola Kalinic is back home with his former club Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and is expected to play a bigger role than ever on both sides of the ball. The same skills that make him a nightmare to keep are what make Kalinic a superior defender; it has the combination of speed and length to match any player. Additionally, Kalinic brings a level of tenacity on the ground that few players can match, so when he picks the opponent’s top scorer to keep that player is in trouble.
James Nunnally, Maccabi Playtika Tel-Aviv
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv sought out James Nunnally this offseason for the three traits he’s best known for: three-point shooting, defense and experience. A 50-40-90 shooter over the past two seasons, Nunnally is brilliant both as a wing lock defender or a team aide. As with many elite defenders, the stats don’t always favor Nunnally, but there’s no doubt Maccabi will be better in defense with him on the ground.
Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaïkos OPAP Athens
It is sometimes difficult to remember that Georgios Papagiannis is only 24 years old and the Panathinaikos OPAP center in Athens continues to improve. He has established himself as one of the best pivots in the league and can dominate games thanks to his rebounds and blocks. In fact, Papagiannis’ elite rim protection skills often cause opposing players to give up painting entirely and settle for mid-range shots. When your defense causes the opponent to change their plans, you know you are on top.
Kostas Papanikolaou, Olympiacos Piraeus
Kostas Papanikolaou’s long arms have been a mainstay for 10 seasons with Olympiacos Piraeus. He is set to collect both his 1,000th career rebound and his 100th career block this season and become only the sixth player to reach those numbers plus 200 career steals. After an injury-ridden season, Papanikolaou is looking to return to top form and become his typical nuisance to be a game-changer in defense.
Dyshawn Pierre, Fenerbahçe Beko Istanbul
As a EuroLeague rookie last season, Dyshawn Pierre played a key role off the bench for Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. The small forward plays a fantastic pick-and-roll defense as neither team gets an advantage if he changes since Pierre is strong enough to deal with the big men and quick enough to frustrate the guards. Now in his second season, Pierre’s role is only expected to grow and that’s not good news for the players he’s keeping.
Walter Tavares, Real Madrid
Nicknamed Sergeant Swat, Real Madrid center Walter “Edy” Tavares is the two-time best defending defender and perhaps the most intimidating cross in the game. At 2.20 yards, Tavares has the area painted on the floor. and because he’s so light on his feet, there’s no getting around him. He is also having the best offensive season of his career. However, Tavares appears on this list in his defense and in recent years he has been second to none.
Victor Wembanyama, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
By far the youngest player on this list, Victor Wembanyama was only 16 when he blocked 4 shots on his 7DAYS EuroCup debut with Nanterre 92. learning curve. However, when Wembanyama is on the ground, the 2.20-meter cross promises to follow in the footsteps of basketball’s top defensive centers and wreak havoc on future scorers.