San Antonio Spurs News

Kawhi Leonard Named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

May 8, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket in front of San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first quarter in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket in front of San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first quarter in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs added yet another distinction to his young career by being named to the 2015-2016 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Leonard was the only player to be a unanimous selection to the First Team, earning all 130 First Team votes.

Joining him on the First Team are Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, Avery Bradley, and Chris Paul.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team is made up of Paul Millsap, Paul George, Hassan Whiteside, Tony Allen, and Jimmy Butler.

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Although Leonard was the only San Antonio Spurs player to make one of the teams, numerous Spurs players received votes without garnering enough points for final selection.

A First Team vote was worth 2 points in a player’s final total, while a Second Team vote was worth 1 point.

Danny Green received 9 First Team votes and 39 total points. Tim Duncan received 5 First Team votes and 33 total points. LaMarcus Aldridge received 1 total point for a Second Team vote.

Looking at the list, there doesn’t seem to be glaring errors regarding who made each squad.

On my First Team ballot, I picked 3 out of the 5 players who ended up making the First Team.

I thought Danny Green and Tim Duncan were both worthy of being First Team selections, yet their spots were given to Avery Bradley and DeAndre Jordan.

The Jordan selection is based on pure production, because he certainly had far gaudier numbers than Duncan. The argument to include Duncan was based more on his influential defensive metrics for when he was out on the floor.

The Bradley choice is understandable, because subjectively me may be the best perimeter defender at his position. You see him torment guys in a way that really justifies inclusion on this list.

Green may not pop off the screen as much as Bradley does while practicing his craft, but the analytics reveal how much better the Spurs are on defense when Green is out on the court.

On my Second Team ballot, I picked 4 out of the 5 players who ended up making the Second Team.

I thought Patrick Beverley deserved to make the squad over Jimmy Butler, but again this isn’t a major disagreement. Butler is still a top defensive player, but I thought he had slipped from his peak of a couple years ago and that somebody else should get that second guard spot.

Next: Spurs Kawhi Leonard an Influence to NBA Draft Prospect

Congratulations to all the players who made the team! The NBA features so many talented defensive players.

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