NBA Announces the 2018-19 All-Defensive Teams
As we are in awards season, on Wednesday, the NBA announced its first and second All-Defensive teams. Leading the way were Rudy Gobert, Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo with 97, 96 and 94, first team votes, respectively. Rounding out the All-NBA first team were guards Marcus Smart and Eric Bledsoe.
2018-19 NBA All-Defensive:
First team: Rudy Gobert, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marcus Smart, Eric Bledsoe.
Second team: Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 22, 2019
The All-Defensive second team features Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green and Joel Embiid. On a side note, Leonard becomes the first Raptors player ever to be named to an All-Defensive squad.
Comparing the two squads, there is a legitimate argument to be made that the second team is better than the first. Not to take anything away from the top 5 but Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green have arguably played better individual defense than anyone in the playoffs, while Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Smart’s defensive performances have somewhat slipped in the postseason. Either way, both teams are excellent and there aren’t too many complaints to me made.
Other players receiving votes from the selected global media panel included Danny Green of the Raptors, Patrick Beverley of the LA Clippers and Derrick White of the San Antonio Spurs.