In a move that didn’t surprise many earlier today the NBA announced it’s annual 2012-2013 NBA All-Defensive First Team with Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen and Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who also won this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player Award headlining the list. Allen received a total of 53 points overall and James 52 with each player receiving 25 First Team votes. Ironically both players teams look on a crash course to possibly facing each other in this year’s NBA Finals with both claiming victories tonight to go up 3-1 in their respective semifinals series and looking like favorites to win their conferences going forward.
Guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers (37 points, 15 First Team votes), forward Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder (46 points, 17 First Team votes) and centers Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, who ended up in a rare tie with 24 points each while respectively getting nine and eight, First Team votes joined Allen and James on the NBA All-Defensive First Team. This is the second year in a row the NBA’s defensive player of the year did not end up making the first team with Allen’s Grizzlies teammate Marc Gasol, who won the award making the second team.
Allen and Gasol were part of a Grizzlies defense that allowed a league-low 89.3 ppg and according to NBA.com/stats, Memphis’ defensive rating was 94.3 points per 100 possessions compared to 10.1 points when he was on the bench. On the defensive end James played nearly all five positions and in his fourth MVP season in five years and was the unquestioned defensive leader, as well as overall leader of a Heat team that had a league-best 66 wins. Proof of this being James recording 17 games of at least three steals, and 10 games of at least two steals and two blocks.
Moving to Ikaka he led the league in blocks for a second consecutive season with 3.03 bpg and Paul in steals for the third straight year and the fifth time in the last six seasons with 2.41 spg which is why they were such obvious choices. Noah and Chandler, who many thought either one or the other would win the defensive player of the year anchored two of the stingiest defenses in the league with the Bulls ranking third in opponent scoring at 92.9 ppg and the Knicks seventh at 95.7 ppg. With Noah being the first Bull to make the first team since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen when the Bulls won their last title in 1998 during the end of their great dynasty run of the ’90’s. So as you could see all the players that did make the first team were very deserving of doing so.