More than two months removed from the conclusion of the regular season and two weeks after the Finals ended, the NBA Awards show is finally set to air on Monday night, and the league announced the 2016-17 All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams as a lead-in to a broadcast that seems well past due.
Defensive Player of the Year finalists Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard all received more than 90 of the 100 available votes from this year’s panel of 100 sportswriters. Green earned a First Team vote on all but one ballot, which be an indication of how Monday’s DPOY results finish.
Green, Gobert and Leonard were joined on the First Team by Chris Paul, who was named one of the league’s two best defensive guards for the sixth straight season (and seventh time overall), and Patrick Beverley, who made his First Team debut after capturing Second Team honors in 2013-14.
Tony Allen made an All-Defensive team for the sixth time in seven seasons, and Anthony Davis made the Second Team for the second time in three years. Danny Green, Andre Roberson and Giannis Antetokounmpo all earned their first career All-Defensive nods as Second Teamers this season.
ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
F: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
C: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
G: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
G: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
G: Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs
C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
F: Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Avery Bradley, Paul Millsap and DeAndre Jordan — all of whom made an All-Defensive roster last season — were the next-highest vote-getters at the guard, forward and center positions, respectively.
Most surprising, though, were single votes cast for offensive dynamos Damian Lillard and Isaiah Thomas as well as reserve Austin Rivers. Ballots are expected to be revealed after Monday’s show.
As for the All-Rookie teams, Rookie of the Year favorites Malcolm Brogdon and Dario Saric were unanimous First Team choices by the same panel. Fellow ROY finalist Joel Embiid, who played just 31 games in 2016-17, joined them on the First Team, along with Buddy Hield and Willy Hernangomez. Embiid would have been a unanimous choice and the runaway ROY winner if he had stayed healthy.
Even still, Embiid earned more First Team votes than anybody but Brogdon or Saric — now the clear-cut ROY favorites. Monday’s All-Rookie voting suggests Embiid’s injury cost him his outside chance. Brogdon was a second-round pick, Saric was a draft-and-stash from 2014, and Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons due to injury, so this was not exactly a glowing reflection of the 2016 draft class.
Late-season pushes by second- and third-overall picks Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram earned them spots on the Second Team, while No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons will still be eligible for ROY honors in 2017-18 after sitting out the entire season with a foot injury. Brown and Ingram were joined on the Second Team by fellow top-10 picks Jamal Murray and Marquese Chriss, as well as 24-year-old former undrafted free agent Yogi Ferrell, who was a revelation for the struggling Dallas Mavericks.
ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM
F: Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers
G: Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks
G: Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
C: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
C: Willy Hernangomez, New York Knicks
ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM
G: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
G: Yogi Ferrell, Dallas Mavericks
F: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
F: Marquese Chriss, Phoenix Suns
F: Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers
D-League journeyman turned Miami Heat guard Rodney McGruder finished just two votes shy of earning a Second Team nod. In hindsight, Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince seems like the biggest snub of the bunch after an impressive showing in the playoffs (albeit after ballots were cast).
Filling out an All-Rookie ballot didn’t prove easy, either. Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender, who missed half the season after suffering an ankle injury in February, earned a single Second Team vote.
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