Gobert Leads in Votes, Joined by Davis, Others
Gobert, receiving a league-high 94 1st Team votes, was named to his second consecutive All-Defensive 1st Team. The Utah Jazz centre anchored the NBA’s 2nd-ranked defence. An elite rim protector, Gobert caused opponents to shoot 10% worse than expected on shots from 6 feet in and closer when he was defending them.
Davis, named to his inaugural 1st Team, and third selection overall, blocked a league-leading 2.57 shots per game, and led the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs in Demarcus Cousins‘ absence.
The remaining 1st Team members were all first-time selections.
Davis’ teammate Jrue Holiday had success of his own on the defensive end, with New Orleans allowing 9.1 fewer points/100 possessions with the guard on the floor than off it, a bigger difference than any other Pelicans player, including Davis.
Victor Oladipo averaged a league-leading 2.36 steals per game, as he led the surprising Indiana Pacers to the playoffs.
Robert Covington, a key member of Philadelphia’s 3rd-ranked defense, led the NBA in deflections.
Headlining the 2nd Team was DPOY finalist Joel Embiid. Another superb rim protector, Embiid held opponents to 7.8% worse shooting than expected on all field goal attempts when he was the closest defender, the top mark in the league.
The 2016-2017 DPOY, and a member of the 1st Team for the past 3 years, Draymond Green settled for the 2nd Team this season. The Warriors all-star still averaged over 1.30 steals and 1.30 blocks per game, one of only 4 players this year to do so.
Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler made his 4th 2nd Team. Butler averaged a career-high 1.97 SPG.
The other 2nd Team members, in addition to Embiid, were named to the All-Defensive Team for the first time.
Al Horford led Boston to a league-best 101.5 points allowed/100 possessions.
San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray averaged 5.7 RPG in only 21 MPG, despite being a 6’5 guard.