Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat - Game Two

Unanimous LeBron James leads All-NBA First team

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He wasn’t the MVP, but LeBron James was the only player to be unanimously selected to the All-NBA first team.

The actual MVP — Chicago’s Derrick Rose — and runner up Dwight Howard were both one vote short of being unanimous. Here are the teams.

All NBA First Team:

Forward: LeBron James, Miami
Forward: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Center: Dwight Howard, Orlando
Guard: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Guard: Derrick Rose, Chicago

All NBA Second Team:

Forward: Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers
Forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
Center: Amar’e Stoudemire, New York
Guard: Dwyane Wade, Miami
Guard: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

All NBA Third Team

Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
Forward: Zach Randolph, Memphis
Center: Al Horford, Atlanta
Guard: Manu Ginobili, San Antonio
Guard: Chris Paul, New Orleans

Rajon Rondo ends up as the guy with the most votes who didn’t make it. He actually had more points than Horford and Randolph, but by position he was behind the other guards. A fourth team of guys who just missed would have been Rondo and Paul Pierce (I’m making PP a guard, just to go in vote order), Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love at forward, Tim Duncan at center.

We can have a debate if Kobe Bryant really had a first-team kind of season, if Wade or Westbrook might not have been better, but it’s not a disaster of a choice. I’d have had Chris Paul farther up, as well, but injuries and a second half decline in the regular season hurt him. It’s good to see Randolph get voted in after the fans didn’t put him in the All-Star game.

If you go on down the list of who got votes, it again begs for transparency. We don’t know who voted for whom, but you should have to defend your choices. While the groupthink of the top three All-NBA teams ends up being defensable, there are some votes that are not.

Like three people voting Kendrick Perkins at center to an All-NBA team. Perkins played in just 29 games and has no offensive game to speak of — that is just a terrible vote. Also two people voted Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani on to All-NBA Third Team, and one person gave Eric Gordon of the Clippers a vote. So did Emeka Okafor. Someone really should explain those.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.