Best 5 Blocks in NBA History

An outstanding block from the Oklahoma City Thunder Thunder NBA player Luguentz Dort against Luka Doncic.

Here, we rank the top 5 blocks in NBA history, focusing on their impact, difficulty, and sheer brilliance.

When Giannis Antetokounmpo swatted away Deandre Ayton’s alley-oop in Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals, it instantly drew comparisons to LeBron James’ iconic block on Andre Iguodala in 2016. But what other jaw-dropping rejections have left fans speechless?

Giannis Antetokounmpo on Deandre Ayton

In a critical moment of Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals, with the Bucks clinging to a 101-99 lead, Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a block for the ages. As Devin Booker attempted a lob to Deandre Ayton for what seemed like an inevitable alley-oop dunk, Antetokounmpo showcased his incredible reach and timing, swatting away Ayton’s shot at the rim. 

This not only preserved the Bucks’ slim advantage but also shifted the momentum decisively in their favour. Giannis’ block was a testament to his defensive prowess and stands as one of the most significant plays in NBA Finals history.

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LeBron James on Andre Iguodala

In Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala was arguably the most iconic. With the game tied and less than two minutes remaining, James sprinted down the court and leaped high in the air to block Iguodala’s layup attempt from behind, preventing a critical basket for the Warriors. 

This dazzling defensive play was not just about timing but also about sheer athleticism, showcasing James’ extraordinary physical capabilities. The Cavaliers went on to win their first NBA Championship, cementing the block as a pivotal moment in NBA history.

Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen on Charles Smith

In a breathtaking sequence during Game 5 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals, the Chicago Bulls showcased their defensive excellence. With the Knicks trailing by just one point and under 15 seconds remaining, Charles Smith had multiple chances to score from point-blank range. 

Horace Grant initiated the defensive stand by blocking Smith’s initial attempt, then Michael Jordan stripped the ball. Smith regained possession only to face Scottie Pippen, who blocked him twice from behind. Ultimately, Grant retrieved the ball, sealing the Bulls’ victory. This defensive stand was pivotal, preventing the Knicks from leading the series and preserving the Bulls’ championship pursuit.

LeBron James on Tiago Splitter

In Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals, LeBron James delivered a block that left fans in awe. With the Miami Heat trailing the San Antonio Spurs in the series and the game, the stakes were high. As Tiago Splitter charged towards the rim with a full head of steam, James met him with a ferocious rejection. 

The block’s thunderous sound was a testament to its impact, both metaphorically and literally. Despite the series not being on the line, the significance of this play in stabilizing the Heat’s momentum cannot be overstated. For most players, this would be a career-defining block, but for James, it’s just another highlight in a legendary career.

Tayshaun Prince on Reggie Miller

In the dying moments of Game 2 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, Tayshaun Prince delivered a defensive masterpiece. With Detroit leading 69-67 and under 30 seconds to go, Reggie Miller seemed destined to tie the game with an open layup. However, Prince, known for his defensive prowess, sprinted back and timed his leap to perfection, blocking Miller’s shot against the backboard.

This crucial play preserved the Pistons’ lead, who went on to tie the series and eventually secure the championship. Prince’s clutch block not only defined his career but also altered the course of NBA history.

The Bottom Line

Great blocks are more than just spectacular athletic feats. They represent the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and a never-say-die attitude. From saving crucial games to altering NBA history, these top 5 blocks have left an indelible mark on the league and continue to inspire future generations of players and fans alike.

But did you know that you can bet on NBA games and even predict the number of blocks a player will have? With FanDuel Sportsbook, you can join the excitement of the game with their NBA betting tips and expert predictions. So, while you appreciate the best blocks in NBA history, why not try your hand at placing a bet on the next big defensive play? Who knows – you may end up witnessing another legendary block that will make it to this list someday!

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