All-NBA, Defensive and Rookie Team predictions

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With the another great NBA regular season in the books and the playoffs beginning it is that time of the year again when we debate the end of season awards. While myself and other members of the society predicted our individual awards there are also the All-NBA awards. There are a total of seven team awards; three All-NBA Teams, two All-Defensive Teams and two All-Rookie teams. The All-NBA and All-Defensive teams are voted on by positions with two guards, two forwards and one center. The All-Rookie Team does not vote based on position, rather it goes by the top five voters go on the first team, then the next five are on the second team. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of either team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties.

Here are my predictions for the All-NBA, All-Defensive and the All-Rookie teams.

All-NBA 1st Team

  • Stephen Curry, PG Golden State Warriors
  • Russell Westbrook, PG Oklahoma City Thunder
  • LeBron James, SF Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Kevin Durant, SF Oklahoma City Thunder
  • DeMarcus Cousins, C Sacramento Kings

The reigning MVP put on another strong season, leading the league in scoring while leading his team to a historic 73-win season. Westbrook has also been dominate this season, going on a tear since the All-Star break with 18 triple-doubles to end the regular season. Both LeBron and KD should be automatic locks for the first team. LeBron is a constant force in the league, leading his Cavaliers team to the no. 1 seed in the East. Durant has also had a great season, leading his Thunder team as they attempt to make a run in the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins has shown that he is one of the top centers in the league.

All-NBA 2nd Team

  • Damian Lillard, PG Portland Trail Blazers
  • James Harden, SG Houston Rockets
  • Paul George, SF Indiana Pacers
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF San Antonio Spurs
  • Karl-Anthony Towns, C Minnesota Timberwolves

Damian Lillard continues to dominate. After losing his entire starting lineup from last season he led his team to the playoffs and still plays every night with a chip on his shoulder. Despite the teams struggles, Harden still finds ways to score helping his team make the playoffs. Both George and Leonard have strong cases to make the first team but the small forwards in the NBA today are stacked. PG came back from his severe leg injury and has not missed a step while Kawhi has risen as one of the top players in the NBA. Towns might be a stretch here for the second team, but he cannot question that his first year in the league has been great and his future, along with the Timberwolves, is bright.

All-NBA 3rd Team

  • Isaiah Thomas, PG Boston Celtics
  • Klay Thompson, SG Golden State Warriors
  • Anthony Davis, PF New Orleans Pelicans
  • Paul Millsap, PF Atlanta Hawks
  • Andre Drummond, C Detroit Pistons

The third team is always a toss-up. Thomas has been a great fit in Boston. Once he took over the starting point guard spot, he has shown that he is the clear leader for this young team. The other splash brother in Thompson has also had a good season helping Golden State to a historic season. This migth be a stretch with the amount of games he has missed but Anthony Davis has shown that he is the face of the Pelicans averaging a double double. Paul Millsap has had a underrated season and has been consistent while playing for Atlanta. Andre Drummond has really blossomed this year, averaging a double-double and leading this young Pistons team to the playoffs.

All-Defensive 1st Team

  • Russell Westbrook, PG Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Kyle Lowry, PG Toronto Raptors
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF San Antonio Spurs
  • Draymond Green, PF Golden State Warriors
  • Hassan Whiteside, C Miami Heat

On top of being a triple-double machine, Westbrook is also one of the top defensive point guards in the league with his explosiveness. Kyle Lowry had a great all around year but showed that he has the ability to defend as well as being an offensive threat, tying for third in the league with steals a game (2.1). The two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Kawhi Leonard is a nightmare to go against, constantly frustrating anyone he guards. Draymond Green had another impressive defensive outing and playing a key role in the Warriors success this season. Whiteside has been a beast down low, leading the league in block shots with over three a game. He looks to have a key role this postseason and also has been playing for a nice contract this summer.

All-Defensive 2nd Team

  • Chris Paul, PG Los Angeles Clippers
  • Avery Bradley, SG Boston Celtics
  • Jae Crowder, SF Boston Celtics
  • Anthony Davis, PF New Orleans Pelicans
  • Andre Drummond, C Detroit Pistons*
  • DeAndre Jordan, C Los Angeles Clippers*

Chris Paul may be getting up in age but is still one of the top defensive guards in the league, averaging a little over two steals a game. Avery Bradley has always been known as a perimeter threat, locking down his opponent every night. Jae Crowder has been a nice addition for the Celtics and he and Bradley have teamed up as one of the best up and coming defenders in the league. Again with the amount of games he’s played Anthony Davis showed that he is still a effective rim protector. The last spot is really a toss up in Drummond and Jordan. Drummond lead the league in rebounds with close to 15 while Jordan is not far behind him in with close to 14 rebounds along with 2.3 blocks a game, which is second behind Hassan Whiteside.

All-Rookie 1st Team

  • Emmanuel Mudiay, PG Denver Nuggets
  • D’Angelo Russell, PG Los Angeles Lakers
  • Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C New York Knicks
  • Jahlil Okafor, PF/C Philadelphia 76ers
  • Karl-Anthony Towns, C Minnesota Timberwolves

Towns is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year with his impressive double-double season and already becoming one of the best centers in the NBA with a bright future for the T’Wolves. The other big men in Okafor and Porzingis also had impressive rookie seasons, showing that they will be key building blocks for the their respective teams. Mudiay’s impressive season started back in the summer league and showed consistency throughout the year. D’Angelo Russell had his struggles early in the year but showed that he can help lead this now Kobe-less Lakers team.

All-Rookie 2nd Team

  • Devin Booker, SG Phoenix Suns
  • Stanley Johnson, SF Detroit Pistons
  • Myles Turner, PF Indiana Pacers
  • Frank Kaminsky III, PF Charolette Hornets
  • Nikola Jokic, C Denver Nuggets*
  • Justise Winslow, SF Miami Heat*

Devin Booker arrived late in the year showing that he will be a great player for the Suns as they try to rebuild for the future. Stanley Johnson also had a decent year for the Pistons as a key rotational player. Myles Turner arrived late in the season but did not miss a beat in Indiana showing that he fits along nicely with Paul George. Frank Kaminsky’s number were not eye-popping but showed that he will be with the Hornets for a couple of years. The last spot for the second-team was a tough call but I can see a tie between Winslow and Jokic. Jokic was a second-round pick in 2014 and had an impressive season starting at center for the Nuggets. Winslow also had a good season down in Miami and looks to have a bright future for the Heat.

What do you think? Who is missing? Who should be left off this list? Let us know. The teams are expected to be announced sometime this week.

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