NBL Canada Announces 2016-2017 All Defensive Team
May 30, 2017
NBL Canada Media
With so many explosive scorers in NBL Canada, it's often the lock-down defenders who make the difference. It's no coincidence that three of the four teams in the NBLC Division Finals ranked Top 4 in fewest points allowed this season, while just two of the five highest-scoring teams reached the Division Finals.
Fittingly, both teams currently in the NBLC Finals feature a member of the 2017 All-Defensive Team. Here's a look at the best of the best when it comes to making life miserable for opponents on a nightly basis.
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, Orangeville A's
The athletic Temple product played was No. 1 the league with 2.17 steals per game, while his average of 0.91 blocks ranked 14th among all players during the regular season. He failed to record either a steal or block just once of 35 games, and had at least two in both categories on five occasions. Hollis-Jefferson also led the A's with 166 defensive rebounds.
Samuel Muldrow, Niagara River Lions
Though he played in less than two-thirds of his team's games, Muldrow still managed to record more blocks than any other NBLC player during the regular season. After joining the Lions in early February, he swatted aside 80 shots over 26 games, for an average of 3.08. His eight blocks against Orangeville on March 14 tied for the single-game high this season.
Terry Thomas, Island Storm
Thomas recorded 67 steals in 32 regular season appearances with the Storm to rank second in NBLC with a 2.08 average. Despite his average height the University of Ottawa grad was tops on his team with 167 defensive rebounds and second with 21 blocks. Thomas also had 13 steals in the Storm's 3-1 playoff upset of the Saint John Riptide.
Tyrone Watson, Halifax Hurricanes
Watson started 32 games for the defending champs during the regular season, and was frequently called upon to check the opposition's biggest offensive threat. The New Mexico State alum averaged 1.13 steals and 0.34 blocks to go with 3.9 defensive rebounds per game. He was named Atlantic Division Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 26.
Garrett Williamson, London Lightning
While very capable of putting up points, the versatile Williamson ceded offensive opportunities to his high-scoring teammates and focused on being London's go-to stopper as the Lightning surged towards a league record 35 wins in 2016-17. He averaged 1.3 steals during the regukar season, when he had at least three steals five times in his 27 games played.