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LeBron James, Joakim Noah headline NBA All-Defensive team

May 13, 2013, 2:26 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Three Getty Images

If you were anchoring your defense with one center in the NBA right now who would it be?

For the past few years the answer was Dwight Howard, he was the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate (voted on by the media) and NBA All-Defensive First Team, voted on by the coaches. But if you watched the hobbled Howard this year you knew he was going to slip, as was his teammate Kobe Bryant.

Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies was the NBA Defensive Play of the Year, but the coaches put two big men ahead of him — Tyson Chandler of the Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Bulls. Those two actually tied for first team, pushing Gasol back to the second team. Clearly, the coaches and media see things a little differently.

Noah becomes the first Bull named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team since some guys named Pippen and Jordan.

By the way, if you want to know why Memphis is still playing, notice there are three Grizzlies on this list.

Here are who the coaches voted for NBA All-Defense:


Forward: LeBron James (Miami)
Forward: Serge Ibaka, (Oklahoma City)
Center: Tyson Chandler (New York)
Center: Joakim Noah (Chicago)
Guard: Tony Allen (Memphis)
Guard: Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers


Forward: Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
Forward: Paul George (Indiana)
Center: Marc Gasol (Memphis)
Guard: Avery Bradley (Boston)
Guard: Mike Conley (Memphis)

OTHER PLAYERS WHO GOT VOTES (listed with the number of points): Andre Iguodala, Denver, 16; Larry Sanders, Milwaukee, 16; Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City, 15; Luol Deng, Chicago, 11; Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers, 9; Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 6; Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 6; Kenneth Faried, Denver, 4; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 4; Shane Battier, Miami, 2; Nicolas Batum, Portland, 2; Corey Brewer, Denver, 2; George Hill, Indiana, 2; Mike James, Dallas, 2; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 2; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 2; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 2; Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers, 2; Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers, 1; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 1; Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, 1; Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota, 1; Iman Shumpert, New York, 1; David West, Indiana, 1.

Yes, Howard got more points and votes than Hibbert.

  1. pantsfreezone - May 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    How is LARRY SANDERS! not a first team NBA All-Defense guy? And not even on the second team? Bogus.

    • pantsfreezone - May 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      And how is the DPOY second team?!?!?! ASF>?SWHFLARGwle

      • paleihe - May 13, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        DPOY is voted on by the media.

        All Defensive Team is voted on by coaches.

    • spthegr8 - May 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      WOW!! It seems EVERYBODY has forgotten about Shump???? SMH!! He’s got STRAPS!!!

  2. bucrightoff - May 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Kobe got 6 votes? Should tell you all you need to know about what a joke this one is. Steve Nash must have got a few votes too if Kobe is getting them.

    • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Not saying he deserves to be listed but Kobe’s ON ball defense was actually pretty solid this year and he was moved on smaller quicker guards a lot this year. His OFF- ball defense is where he struggles horribly.

      • money2long - May 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        exactly. kobe was tasked at stopping teams’ premiere players to keep the lakers finding needed wins.

      • mytthor - May 14, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        His off ball defense is amazingly bad for a guy with such a high basketball IQ. And he doesn’t get a pass because of his offensive responsibilities. He’s not just being lazy and a step slow on defense – he makes absolutely terrible decisions and consistently loses his man away from the ball like a junior varsity high school player.

        And while it’s true that he can have a lot of success against small guards and in those games he does an admirable job chasing quicker players, that didn’t happen nearly often enough to make these votes anything other than absurd.

  3. jh4prez - May 13, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Thats an all lockdown team right there.awesome!

  4. zblott - May 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    The NBA’s All-Defensive teams are the most bogus, agenda-filled awards in all of sports, and I’m including baseball’s Gold Glove. For example, the DPOY is on the 2nd team, Kobe continues to get more votes than guys who actually play defense like Battier and Kawhi, and Larry Sanders is left off because of guys like Ibaka (who puts himself out of position by swinging at everything – see also: only 4.9 DReb/gm) and Paul George (very good, but not Sanders’ equal).

    • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      I think the DPOY is more of a bogus award than the all defense squad. How are you gonna argue Serge Ibake being out of position because of blocks when Larry Sanders plays the same game. And if i’m not mistaken Sanders is a Center, no way you’d replace any of the other centers on this list for sanders. Not at this stage.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Kobe is still a great on-ball defender. His issue is freelancing off the ball and gambling for steals.

      • jimeejohnson - May 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        You’re right.

      • money2long - May 13, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        brandon jennings said kobe gave him the worst time on defense in his career i believe this season. one on one defense, kobe is still the man.

      • mytthor - May 14, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        great is a stretch at this point. He can have great quarters or even whole games but it’s not consistent enough.

    • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      And as far as Battier and Kawhi…..since battier got moved to the four he’s rarely asked to guard the other teams best defender like he has in recent years and most times he gets worked on D by bigger players. I agree Kawhi should be higher but i think is injuries throughout the season kept him off that list.

  5. dolphindubs - May 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Ibaka first team?!?! Leading the league in blocks (or second this year to Sanders) doesnt mean youre a great defender. Who cares if you get 4 blocks a game when the man youre defending gets 20+ points every night? Defense is about locking a man down, not blocks and/or steals. Bogus list for the most part!

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      I agree. That’s been my stance on him for the past couple of years. Never mind he gambles for blocks and leaves the weak side a lot. Still doesn’t get enough boards to be getting the nod over certain other guys.

    • jimeejohnson - May 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Ibaka’s a ball buster (literally).

    • jaerba - May 14, 2013 at 12:48 AM

      He just got exposed by Randolph and Gasol again.

      Really not good at anything besides help defense, and even then he gets baited into jumping too easily.

  6. JMClarkent - May 13, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    No Andrew Bynum? He hasn’t given up a single point all season!

  7. eagles512 - May 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Iggy gets screwed again.

    • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      i agree, but i dont know who i’d replace to put him in. Bradley and tony allen are both deserving.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Iguodala is better than Bradley, who is vastly overrated.

      • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        iono man, Bradley be D’ing up. Especially on point guards.

      • 00maltliquor - May 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        No way Bradley overrated. He’s one of the best lock down defenders I’ve seen at that position. Ever. And I hate Boston!!

      • jimeejohnson - May 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        You might hate Boston, but these New Yawkers hate Boston more.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      The thing about Bradley is that he is allowed to handcheck (somehow, under today’s rules) and hack guys without consequence, while the other perimeter defenders don’t get that same slack. His effort is not overrated, but he gets a bit more rope from the refs than the other wing defenders like Iguodala, Shump, George, etc.

      • mytthor - May 14, 2013 at 12:25 AM

        Iggy is underrated and takes it over Bradley for me because he has so much offensive responsibility. Bradley can just go all-out on D and not have to do anything on offense.

  8. beardown2489 - May 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Jimmy Butler will b on this list next year. Bet on it.

    • alildusty - May 13, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      I definitely wouldn’t bet on it….lol

      The list is a joke. Yes DPOY is voted by the media and this is by the coaches but to say gasol is the 3rd best defensive center?

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Tyson Chandler has no business on this list. He was barely average this year.

    • gmsingh - May 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Average? He stays in the lane longer than 3 seconds more than anyone else I’ve seen!

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM


  10. Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    And as long as Shump doesn’t get hurt again (that ACL is barking right now, BTW), he will be atop this list next year. I would give him the nod over Paul George.

    • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Both Shump and George are putting on defensive clinics in this game. Two different styles but both effective.

      • unxpexted1 - May 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM


  11. thetariqahmad - May 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    How can a DPOY not make the All NBA defensive first team?
    and you put LBJ, Ibaka, and CP3 over Paul George, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley?
    the List really should’ve been: Conley, Allen, Bradley, Paul George and Marc Gasol.

    • Kurt Helin - May 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      The media votes for DPOY, coaches for the All Defensive Teams.

    • pantsfreezone - May 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      No. Your list is terrible. Bradley and George? Over a guy that can guard all 5 positions on the court and is the best wing defender in the NBA in LeBron and the second best wing defender in Iggy?

      The list should be Conley, TA, LeBron, Iggy, Noah. Or Conley, TA, LeBron, Duncan, Gasol.

  12. eventhorizon04 - May 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    So, Mike James of the Dallas Mavericks earned his 2 “points” by apparently earning one 1st-team vote (per ESPN), despite the fact that he was a bench player who only played in 45 out of 82 games this season….

    Something tells me that a coach was a bit careless in filling out his ballot, and selected
    “James, Mike” instead of
    “James, LeBron”

    LOL. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in this process.

    • eventhorizon04 - May 13, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Looking at the list of the 11 guys, I don’t really take much issue with any selection.
      There are obviously some great defenders left off the list, since there are more than 11 really good defenders in the entire NBA.

      I know some take issue with Ibaka’s placement, since he still needs to improve as an on-ball defender, but the way these lists work, the NBA Steals Leader (Chris Paul) and NBA Blocks Leader (Serge Ibaka) are almost always going to be on this list. It’s just the way it works.

      I don’t have a problem with Noah over Gasol – they’re both terrific. I’m more of a Gasol guy, but I can’t fault Noah voters for giving him first team. Chandler was deserving of the DPOY award he got last year, but Chandler’s defense took a step back this year (probably due to his injuries).

      But overall, not a bad list.

  13. secdominance - May 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    This is the 2nd straight year that the Defensive Player of the Year wasn’t voted 1st Team All-Defense

  14. 00maltliquor - May 13, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Wow. Very happy. The coaches most definatly got it right. All the way across the board. And who to know better then the coaches that prepare against the defensive beast.

    And further proving how bogus the Gasol DPOY award was…3rd C on the ADT. Yo, if Chandler or Noah would’ve gotten 1 pt. less, Marc “DPOY” Gasol wouldn’t even be on the list!! How crazy would that have been!? To get DPOY and not even make the 1st or 2nd team! I’m sure that never happend before, and almost did.

    Im calling conspiracy and saying that that is exactly what happend, but the league had to cover tail and put Marc on it somehow so they said Noah and Chandler tied.

  15. alexgordonleftfieldallstar - May 13, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Player A:
    – Allowed 0.883 PPP (107th in NBA)
    – Held opponent to 39% shooting
    – 2.41 SPG
    – 0.1 BPG

    Player B:
    – Allowed 0.76 PPP (29th in NBA)
    – Held opponent to 33% shooting
    – 1.51 SPG
    – 0.6 BPG

    Player C:
    – Allowed 0.73 PPP (16th in NBA)
    – Held opponents to 32.3% shooting (Best in NBA)
    – 1.3 SPG
    – 0.4 BPG

    Player A – Chris Paul
    Player B – Tony Allen
    Player C – Avery Bradley

    Now I know Bradley only played 50 games this season, but he was totally snubbed from first-team. He had better stats than both the guards, no offense to them, especially CP3. Half of the coaches vote on who the better player overall is and not the better defender. Bradley deserved to be first-team. Most tenacious on-ball defender in the NBA.

    • 00maltliquor - May 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Good work. Well earned thumbs up.

      • alexgordonleftfieldallstar - May 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM


  16. glink123 - May 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    What idiot said “Battier”? Dude, seriously? If he was such a defensive force, he wouldn’t be coming off the bench, playing less than half the game (23 minutes per game). lmao. frikken Heat homers.

    • pantsfreezone - May 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Next time you have a thought, just let it go. Battier is an excellent defender. He doesn’t deserve to be an All-NBA guy, but I could make the case that his defense is more important than Bradley’s.

    • mytthor - May 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

      Yeah, they should definitely start him over LeBron. Battier was a great defender, he’s lost too much footspeed. He’s still very good though.

  17. glink123 - May 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    On a team with Bosh, Wade, and LeBron, and you’re spouting off about how important Battier’s defense is?!? riiight. because LeBron is such a defensive liability in the wing. Gotta have Battier’s critical 5 minutes per quarter, guarding the opponent’s second-stringers (when Battier comes into the game).

    • pantsfreezone - May 14, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      So, according to your incredibly insane logic, because Bosh, Wade and LeBron are great defenders, Battier isn’t? He usually plays starters on defense. He is defending Boozer in this series, is Boozer a second stringer? Well, yeah he should be, but on this terrible Chicago team he isn’t.

      Battier typically plays guys bigger than him and/or faster like Durant, West, Pau, etc. He’s no slouch. And you are a joke.

  18. glink123 - May 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    (and yes, that was sarcasm about James. he’s arguably the best defender in the league).

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