Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Three

LeBron James, Joakim Noah headline NBA All-Defensive team


If you were anchoring your defense with one center in the NBA right now who would it be?

For the past few years the answer was Dwight Howard, he was the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate (voted on by the media) and NBA All-Defensive First Team, voted on by the coaches. But if you watched the hobbled Howard this year you knew he was going to slip, as was his teammate Kobe Bryant.

Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies was the NBA Defensive Play of the Year, but the coaches put two big men ahead of him — Tyson Chandler of the Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Bulls. Those two actually tied for first team, pushing Gasol back to the second team. Clearly, the coaches and media see things a little differently.

Noah becomes the first Bull named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team since some guys named Pippen and Jordan.

By the way, if you want to know why Memphis is still playing, notice there are three Grizzlies on this list.

Here are who the coaches voted for NBA All-Defense:


Forward: LeBron James (Miami)
Forward: Serge Ibaka, (Oklahoma City)
Center: Tyson Chandler (New York)
Center: Joakim Noah (Chicago)
Guard: Tony Allen (Memphis)
Guard: Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers


Forward: Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
Forward: Paul George (Indiana)
Center: Marc Gasol (Memphis)
Guard: Avery Bradley (Boston)
Guard: Mike Conley (Memphis)

OTHER PLAYERS WHO GOT VOTES (listed with the number of points): Andre Iguodala, Denver, 16; Larry Sanders, Milwaukee, 16; Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City, 15; Luol Deng, Chicago, 11; Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers, 9; Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 6; Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 6; Kenneth Faried, Denver, 4; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 4; Shane Battier, Miami, 2; Nicolas Batum, Portland, 2; Corey Brewer, Denver, 2; George Hill, Indiana, 2; Mike James, Dallas, 2; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 2; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 2; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 2; Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers, 2; Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers, 1; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 1; Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, 1; Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota, 1; Iman Shumpert, New York, 1; David West, Indiana, 1.

Yes, Howard got more points and votes than Hibbert.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.