2017 PBT Awards: All-Defensive

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
3 Comments

Kurt Helin

First team

Second Team

This is one category I’m still reviewing (watching film, talking to people about) and may tweak because there are good cases for a number of others not here (Danny Green, Thabo Sefolosha, Dewayne Dedmon, Robert Covington, and more). While both CP3 and Beverley missed chunks of time this season, both played in enough games and were so impactful they had to make the team. Paul Millsap’s defense is one of those things too many fans sleep on.

Note: Helin has an official ballot this year.

Dan Feldman

First team

      • G: Andre Roberson, Thunder
      • G: Patrick Beverley, Rockets
      • F: Draymond Green, Warriors
      • F: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
      • C: Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Second team

      • G: Chris Paul, Clippers
      • G: Jimmy Butler, Bulls
      • F: Paul Millsap, Hawks
      • F: Anthony Davis, Pelicans
      • C: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers

Andre Roberson, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gobert and Paul Millsap slid into place easily.

Patrick Beverley and Chris Paul were neck-and-neck for the final first-team guard spot. Butler edged Danny Green, Tony Allen and Thabo Sefolosha for the second team.

I debated DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard for second-team center. Dewayne Dedmon and Joel Embiid defended better than all three while on the court, but they played too little to match the contributions of Jordan, Davis and Howard. I keep second-guessing sliding Davis to forward. He played more center and always guarded centers as a center, and even as a forward, he sometimes guarded centers. But I put him there anyway.

Counting an extra big, the inherent value of size defensively and putting every wing at guard really shows how small forwards who don’t defend guards — like Robert Covington, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and I suspect, if were healthy, Kevin Durant — really get squeezed in this format unless they’re as elite as Leonard.

Dane Carbaugh

First team

      • G: John Wall, Wizards
      • G: Avery Bradley, Celtics
      • F: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
      • F: Draymond Green, Warriors
      • C: Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Second team

It’s pretty easy to sort out the first team here. The top DPOY candidates are all there, and you can argue until your lungs collapse about which should go over the other. Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, and Rudy Gobert are the top guys, and the rest falls into place accordingly. John Wall makes the cut for me not just because of what he does on the defensive end of the floor but how that compares given he’s one of the best passers in the NBA.