2016 PBT Awards: All-NBA

AP Photo/Ben Margot
3 Comments

Kurt Helin

First team

Second team

Third team

There were just brutal choices in here. At guard, leaving James Harden off is painful, despite his flaws. I struggled mightily with putting LaMarcus Aldridge in that last forward spot over Millsap or George, but just couldn’t based on the full season’s performance. And I can so very close to having Karl-Anthony Towns as the last center spot over Cousins — Towns is more consistent, but the higher peaks of Cousins (for now, not in a year or two) won the day for me.

Sean Highkin

First team

  • G: Stephen Curry
  • G: Russell Westbrook
  • F: LeBron James
  • F: Kawhi Leonard
  • C:- Draymond Green

Second team

  • G: Chris Paul
  • G: Kyle Lowry
  • F: Kevin Durant
  • F: Paul Millsap
  • C: DeAndre Jordan

Third team

  • G: Damian Lillard
  • G: Klay Thompson
  • F: Paul George
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge
  • C: Andre Drummond

Yes, I’m choosing to count Draymond Green as a center. Their most effective lineup has him playing there, and he’s crucial to their success as a smallball unit. Plus, I want to have two players from the greatest regular-season team of all time on the first team, and I can’t justify putting him over one of the other first-team forwards. It’s already a brutal decision fitting Kawhi, LeBron and KD into two forward slots—all three are deserving.

Dan Feldman

First team

  • G: Stephen Curry
  • G: Russell Westbrook
  • F: LeBron James
  • F: Kevin Durant
  • C: Draymond Green

Second team

  • G: Chris Paul
  • G: Kyle Lowry
  • F: Kawhi Leonard
  • F: Paul Millsap
  • C: DeAndre Jordan

Third team

  • G: James Harden
  • G: Damian Lillard
  • F: Paul George
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge
  • C: Al Horford

The initial dilemma is whether to count Draymond Green at center, which has large trickle-down effects. I went back and forth, but he’s so darn impactful there, and his versatility put him in the position often enough. After that, my MVP picks slotted in, and the second team separated itself relatively easily.

The third team got tough. Obligatory note that I don’t feel good about putting James Harden on an All-NBA team: I don’t feel good about putting James Harden on an All-NBA team. But his offense was still darn impressive, despite all his other shortcomings. The other guard spot came down to Damian Lillard (who has plenty at stake) and Klay Thompson, and I changed my mind multiple times. Paul George and LaMarcus Aldridge were making it, but Aldridge plays forward and center, widening a deep pool of frontcourt candidates: Al Horford, Anthony Davis (who has even more at stake than Lillard), DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gordon Hayward.