NBA

Early Predictions for the 2017 NBA All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams

Last week I made my predictions for the All-NBA 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams. Today, I make my predictions for both All-Defensive teams as well as making my picks for the best rookies to make the All-Rookie 1st and 2nd teams.

(Photo by: NBA.com)

NBA All-Defensive 1st Team

  • G: John Wall (4.2 REBS, 2.0 STLS & 0.6 BLKS)
  • G: Chris Paul (5.0 REBS, 2.0 STLS & 0.1 BLKS)
  • F: Kawhi Leonard (5.9 REBS, 1.8 STLS & 0.7 BLKS)
  • F: Draymond Green (8.1 REBS, 2.1 STLS & 1.4 BLKS)
  • C: Rudy Gobert (12.8 REBS, 0.7 STLS & 2.6 BLKS)

It is safe to say that John Wall is having the best season of his career, both offensively and defensively. Wall was a second-team selection last year, but his two steals per game and ability to guard some of the league’s top point guards give him consideration for any defensive team selection.

Chris Paul missed some time this season but has really come back nicely with the team. Normally people say point guards start to decline by age 30, Paul is still one of the league’s top point guards at 31 and is looking for his potential last big contract this summer.

Kawhi Leonard is a back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year winner and looks to be in the running again this season. Leonard is one of the best two-way players we have in this league. With all of the star power Golden State has, Draymond Green sometimes gets lost in the shuffle due to that he is not a big scorer like some of his other teammates. However, he is the team’s top defender and does all of the little things that do not get as much notice outside of scoring. Rudy Gobert is also in the running this year for Defensive Player of the Year, in my opinion. After a couple of seasons of adjusting to the NBA, it seems Gobert has found his niche being the team’s top rebound and one of the league’s best shot-blockers.

With all of the star power Golden State has, Draymond Green sometimes gets lost in the shuffle due to that he is not a big scorer like some of his other teammates. However, he is the team’s top defender and does all of the little things that do not get as much notice outside of scoring. Rudy Gobert is also in the running this year for Defensive Player of the Year, in my opinion. After a couple of seasons of adjusting to the NBA, it seems Gobert has found his niche being the team’s top rebound and one of the league’s best shot-blockers.

Rudy Gobert is also in the running this year for Defensive Player of the Year, in my opinion. After a couple of seasons of adjusting to the NBA, it seems Gobert has found his niche being the team’s top rebound and one of the league’s best shot-blockers.

(Photo by: Joe Murphy/NBA Via Getty Images)

NBA All-Defensive 2nd Team

  • G: Russell Westbrook (10.5 REBS, 1.6 STLS & 0.4 BLKS)
  • G: Tony Allen (5.5 REBS, 1.7 STLS & 0.5 BLKS)
  • F: Giannis Antetokounmpo (8.6 REBS, 1.7 STLS & 1.9 BLKS)
  • F: Anthony Davis (11.9 REBS, 1.2 STLS & 2.2 BLKS)
  • C: Hassan Whiteside (14.2 REBS, 0.7 STLS & 2.1 BLKS)

If you are a point guard and you are averaging over 10 rebounds per game, Westbrook should get some recognition for the All-Defensive team. On top of that, Westbrook is averaging a little under two steals per game and is always energetic on both sides of the court.

Even at 35 years old, Tony Allen continues to be a dominant perimeter defender and looks to capture his sixth defensive team selection (three 1st team selections and two 2nd team selections). As stated before, the Greek Freak in Antetokoumpo has been outstanding this year. His ability to play all positions and play them all well earns a spot on my All-Defensive selections. Anthony Davis has also been

As stated before, the Greek Freak in Antetokoumpo has been outstanding this year. His ability to play all positions and play them all well earns a spot on my All-Defensive selections. Anthony Davis has also been

Anthony Davis has also been dominant this season. Finally healthy, he is showing that he is a nightmare in the paint in both blocked shots and steals. Hassan Whiteside has also been a dominate paint protector, leading the league in rebounds and is currently top five in blocked shots.

Hassan Whiteside has also been a dominate paint protector, leading the league in rebounds and is currently top five in blocked shots.

(Photo by: Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports)

NBA All-Rookie 1st Team

  • G: Jamal Murray (9.5 PTS, 2.5 REBS & 1.8 ASTS)
  • G: Buddy Hield (9.8 PTS, 3.1 REBS & 1.4 ASTS)
  • G: Malcolm Brogdon (10.1 PTS, 2.8 REBS, 4.1 ASTS & 1.1 STLS)
  • F: Dario Saric (12.8 PTS, 6.3 REBS & 2.2 ASTS)
  • C: Joel Embiid (20.2 PTS, 7.8 REBS, 2.1 ASTS & 2.5 BLKS)

Unlike the All-NBA and All-Defense selections, there are no set position requirements. The votes are basically the top five vote getters on to the first team then the next five make the second team, regardless of positions.

I start off with Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. Murray has been a reliable player in Denver’s deep guard rotation, scoring double digits in all but one game in the month of March.

Buddy Hield had a rough start with the New Orleans Pelicans but since he arrived with the Sacramento Kings he has been receiving more playing time and improving his stat line across the board. Look for the Kings to start building around Hield in the near future.

Once looked as a second-round afterthought, Malcolm Brogdon has contributed nicely with the Milwaukee Bucks. A while back I made a post about certain 2016 2nd-round rookie selections who will make an immediate contribution to their respective teams and I’m glad I got it right with Brogdon. I believe that he should be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year talks.

Dario Saric is another player that is in Rookie of the Year. Once Joel Embiid went down with injury, Saric looks to be the main focal point for the team.

Speaking of Embiid, in his short time with the 76ers, he dominated leading all rookies in points, rebounds, and blocks. He has only played 31 games this season but I think he is a lock to make either All-Rookie teams, thought winning Rookie of the Year might still be possible for the big man.

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(Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images)

NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team

  • G: Yogi Ferrell (9.7 PTS, 2.3 REBS, 3.7 ASTS & 0.9 STLS)
  • G: Isaiah Whitehead (7.7 PTS, 2.5 REBS & 2.6 ASTS)
  • F: Brandon Ingram (9.0 PTS, 4.1 REBS & 2.0 ASTS)
  • F: Marquese Chriss (8.8 PTS, 4.0 REB & 0.8 BLKS)
  • C: Willy Hernangomez (7.5 PTS, 6.8 REBS & 1.2 ASTS)

Yogi Ferrell is one of the feel-good rookie stories in the NBA. After a short stint with the Brooklyn Nets and some time in the D-League, Ferrell received another shot with the Dallas Mavericks and has not looked back since. Once his original 10-day contract with the Mavericks expired, Dallas signed him a multi-year deal and looks to in Dallas’ plans for the future.

Isaiah Whitehead is another 2nd-round rookie that has made a great impact this season. Brooklyn does not have a lot of talent outside of Brook Lopez, but Whitehead has taken advantage of that opportunity.

In the beginning of the season, Luol Deng was looked to be the starting small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. Fortunately, it has worked out in Ingram’s favor as Deng struggling and fell out of the rotation, leading to an increase in playing time (and starts) for Ingram.

Marquese Chriss is a raw athletic talent that has been receiving more playing time as of late. With the Suns well out of the playoff race, look for Chriss to have an extended run to see where he stands with the team in the future.

Like I said in one of my recent articles about the Knicks, Willy Hernangomez will be looking to take the next step as he will be the starting center for the New York Knicks and possibly the rest of the year, depending on how he plays in the final stretch of the season.

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