The votes on NBA All-Defensive team are often more about reputation than how somebody is actually performing.
In theory coaches vote on this award, but it’s taken about as seriously as the coaches ballots in college football polls. Which means sometimes an assistant fills it out, sometimes the team PR guy, pretty much anyone but a cheerleader.
Which explains some of the odd votes. First, here is your NBA First Team All Defense
Center — Dwight Howard, Orlando
Guard — Rajon Rondo, Boston
Forward — LeBron James, Miami
Guard — Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Forward — Kevin Garnett, Boston
Now the NBA Second Team All Defense:
Guard — Tony Allen, Memphis
Guard — Chris Paul, New Orleans
Center — Tyson Chandler, Dallas
Forward — Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia
Forward/Center — Joakim Noah, Chicago
Wait, Noah gets to be a forward? How exactly does that work… oh, just like Tim Duncan gets to be one on the All-Star ballot.
The biggest issue here is Kobe on the first team — that is purely reputation. Kobe can still defend well when he wants, but now days he is not the guy on the Lakers who handles the best perimeter player of the other team (Ron Artest gets that) and Kobe picks his spots on defense. He can still defend, but he doesn’t do it intensely on a night in, night out basis anymore.
Some other oddities include Andrew Bogut only getting one vote. It seems unfair, except that if I had two votes they would go to Howard and Chandler, then maybe Noah because he is a center not a forward. Except that Noah played 48 games this season and Bogut 65. Basically, Bogut gets overlooked and that’s a shame.
That Chicago’s Keith Bogans got two votes (one for first team) means somebody is voting this as a team award.
Some may have issues with Garnett and LeBron on the first team, but I’m okay with that. Star power helps them out in this but they do defend. KG had his best defensive season in a while.
Derrick Rose was the next guard in line ahead of Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook. Refer back to the first couple graphs of this post about how seriously this vote is taken.