The NBA unveiled its All-Defensive teams on Wednesday, and there are plenty of nits worth picking with each.
Few would take umbrage with LeBron James’ inclusion on the first team, even as the top vote-getter overall. And while many might disagree with Kobe Bryant’s spot on either squad, it’s not exactly a shock to see him in the mix for the 13th time in 16 seasons as a pro.
But there’s still plenty about which to raise a stink…if you’re into that sort of thing.
SNUB: Tyson Chandler
Let me get this straight…Tyson Chandler breaks Dwight Howard’s three-year streak as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year but can’t beat him out for a spot at center on the All-Defensive first team?
How does that work, exactly? Is it because Dwight had better rebounding and shot-blocking numbers than did Tyson? Is it because the voters actually believe Dwight is a better defender than Tyson?
I have no qualms if they do. But is it too much to ask for them to be consistent in their evaluations?
SURPRISE: Serge Ibaka
I get it. Serge Ibaka is an excellent shot-blocker by virtue of having swatted far more than anyone this season.
That being said, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward still has plenty of room for improvement with regard to his man-to-man defending and defense in space.
Why not give the spot to Kevin Garnett? He’s enjoyed a fantastic, bounce-back campaign as the anchor of the Boston Celtics’ suffocating defense
SNUB: Andre Iguodala
I’m no math whiz (not anymore, anyway), but how is it that Kobe Bryant, with 17 points, got a spot on the second team ahead of Andre Iguodala, who garnered 19 points?
Am I missing something? Do Kobe’s votes count more because he’s one of the greatest players of all-time? Is it because Iggy’s classified as a forward, even though he could easily be fudged in as a wing?
And will Iggy ever be properly rated as a player?
SURPRISE: Chris Paul
Question: What happens when flashy stats, past reputation and expanded media exposure come together?
Answer: You wind up with Chris Paul on the All-Defensive first team.
Because, you know, apparently Rajon Rondo’s role amidst one of the NBA’s best defenses isn’t worth as much to voters as CP3 trying to scrape by while playing next to Randy Foye and Nick Young (a.k.a. Swaggy P) for most of the season…
SNUB: Dwyane Wade
Here’s an interesting tidbit: Dwyane Wade was named an All-Defensive performer in the two years before LeBron joined the Miami Heat. He has failed to register on the radar since.
What happened? Did D-Wade stop playing defense when King James came to town? Is it not enough to put up better than a block and nearly two steals per game from the two-guard spot?
Or is this just another case of LeBron stealing Dwyane’s thunder?
Whatever the case may be, it’s downright embarrassing that D-Wade wound up with all of five points, especially with the likes of Paul George and Russell Westbrook edging him in that department.
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