’08-09 NBA All-Defensive teams

By: 05.06.09  •  42 Comments
Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Most of the time, being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team is like an offensive lineman being named to the NFL’s Pro Bowl; it’s all about reputation. Without enough solid stats to set certain guys apart from the crowd — the difference between Ronnie Brewer‘s 1.7 steals per game and Rafer Alston‘s 1.4 doesn’t justify how much better Brewer is on D — voting is based more on numerically baseless opinion and word-of-mouth. And once you crack the list for the first time, odds are you can run off a string of 3-4 consecutive nods easy.

This year’s All-Defensive first and second teams have some staples — Kobe, Garnett, Duncan, Artest, etc. — but there’s also some refreshing new blood, namely LeBron, Wade and Rajon Rondo. Here’s the list:

FIRST TEAM
G – Kobe Bryant
G – Chris Paul
F – LeBron James
F – Kevin Garnett
C – Dwight Howard

SECOND TEAM
G – Rajon Rondo
G – Dwyane Wade
F – Ron Artest
F – Shane Battier
C – Tim Duncan

The fact that KG only played 57 games puts his selection into question, but again, there’s that reputation thing. We wouldn’t have been mad at Artest or Battier taking KG’s spot on the first team, and somebody like Gerald Wallace getting a second-team nod.

The most glaring instance of reputation getting more credit than reality: Jason Kidd got more overall votes than Joe Johnson, and Kidd got a first team vote.

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