Today, the National Basketball Association announced the voting for the 2014-2015 All-Defensive First Team and All-Defensive Second Team. Enough votes were tabulated that enabled Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan to be placed on the All-Defensive First Team. It was quite an honor for each guy. It was Paul's fourth straight appearance on the First Team but it was Jordan's first ever nomination onto either team. They weren't alone on the team, though.
Also joining Jordan and Paul on the First Team were Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Draymond Green, and the defensive dynamo that is Tony Allen. Leonard rightfully earned the most points and the most first place votes. Jordan and Paul were fourth and fifth in each category, respectively. Each guy had a rightful argument for the First Team and one could argue that all of them deserved to be there. It was nice to see two young guys – Leonard and Green – get rewarded and voters paying attention to how good Jordan and Paul were this season. And, of course, the "FIRST TEAM ALL-DEFENSE" of Allen.
On the Second Team, the five players were Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Bogut, John Wall, and Tim Duncan. Rudy Gobert finished ten total points behind Duncan for the tenth and final spot on the teams. Each one of these guys had deserving cases to be made. While you might not agree with them all making it, they all had really good defensive years and got rewarded accordingly. There were some interesting voting results among players who didn’t make either team, though.
For instance, LeBron James was right behind Gobert in the voting and got six First Team votes. That seems ridiculous. Russell Westbrook was behind James and had an astounding 13 First Team votes, which is utterly indefensible. To put it into perspective, Westbrook got more First Team votes than Wall and Duncan had combined (12). Avery Bradley got five First Team votes while Klay Thompson got three. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marc Gasol, Stephen Curry, and Mike Conley received two First Team votes apiece. Trevor Ariza, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Beverley, Khris Middleton, Jeff Teague, Nerlens Noel, and Hassan Whiteside each got one First Team vote.
Also with perplexing votes in general were Blake Griffin, Manu Ginobili, Zaza Pachulia, and Zach Randolph. Then there's James Harden, who happened to receive TWO votes for the Second Team. It makes me wonder if anyone actually watched him play. The injury to Serge Ibaka likely took him out of the running for any spot as he finished with just eight points, all from Second Team votes. As there is with every voting season, some voters deserve to have their voting rights stripped from them and we’ll soon get to see who voted for whom in the next few hours. Should be fun. But, for now, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan were voted onto All-Defensive First Team and it’s quite an honor. If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s how important each guy was defensively to the Clippers this season. Very well deserved for each guy.