San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray earns 2018 All-Defensive team honors

By Rob Wolkenbrod
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 25: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs gestures during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on February 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 110-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 25: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs gestures during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on February 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 110-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs will have representation in the 2018 NBA All-Defensive teams, with Dejounte Murray taking a spot in the second group.

After a rookie campaign of injuries and a trip to the G League, Dejounte Murray entered the 2017-18 season as the starting point guard of the San Antonio Spurs. It was due to a torn quadriceps that caused Tony Parker to miss the first month of the season.

However, in January, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reverted to Murray as the starting point guard, with Parker moved to a full-time bench role for the first time in his career. This primary role would not be let go by the Washington product for the rest of the season.

Well, the NBA has honored Murray for his production in the most recent campaign, with a spot on the 2018 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, according to Yahoo’s Shams Charania. Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, Al Horford and Jimmy Butler make up the rest of the second team. Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis, Victor Oladipo and Robert Covington received first team honors.

2018 NBA All-Defensive teams:

First team: Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis, Victor Oladipo, Jrue Holiday, Robert Covington.

Second team: Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, Al Horford, Dejounte Murray, Jimmy Butler.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 23, 2018

It’s an accomplishment for Murray, especially in his first full season as an NBA player. He joins Kawhi Leonard as recent Spurs to earn this accolade.

While Murray struggled at times on offense, defense was his calling card in the 2017-18 season. Popovich placed him on the opposition’s guards, and with a 7′ 0” wingspan and top athleticism, he locked them down for a 101 Defensive Rating, tied for the best on the Spurs (not including Leonard’s 97 in nine games). His 3.4 Defensive Win Shares was the top mark among any San Antonio guard, as well.

Aside from the advanced metrics, Murray picked up 1.2 steals per game, the team’s second-highest average. He even increased his blocks total from six in 2016-17 to 31 in his sophomore campaign.

Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft: After the lottery

Murray only played this season at age 21, so there’s potentially more in store from this young guard’s career. It might not be the only time he joins an NBA All-Defensive team, either. Let’s see if he can make the jump to first team in the near future.

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