2014 PBT Awards: All-Defensive Team

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Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

First Team

  • G: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
  • G: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
  • F: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  • F: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
  • C:  Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

Second Team

  • G: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
  • G: Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
  • F: Paul George, Indiana Pacers
  • F: Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • C: Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

What I find hardest about this is picking the point guards that should be on here, then narrowing down the number of quality forwards to just these (I hate leaving guys like Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green off this list).

Brett Pollakoff

First team

  • G: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • F: Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • F: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
  • C: Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Second team

  • G: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
  • G: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • F: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
  • F: LeBron James, Miami Heat
  • C: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

This award is problematic, in that there are far more deserving players who play at the forward positions than there are just about anywhere else. The guards were difficult to single out, but it’s tough to argue with guys who take pride in their defense and seem to bring the effort on that end of the floor on a nightly basis.

Dan Feldman

First team

  • G: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • F: Paul George, Indiana Pacers
  • F: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
  • C: Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Second team

  • G: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
  • G: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • F: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  • F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • C: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

I feel reasonably comfortable with the gap between my first and second teams, but there are plenty of deserving players who might have made my second team on another day – especially at forward. Serge Ibaka and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were right there.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.