Jaren Jackson Jr., Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez lead All-Defensive team
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year last month, headlined the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team, which the league unveiled Tuesday afternoon.
Jackson was joined on the first team by the two other finalists for the top defensive honor — Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Evan Mobley — along with Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso.
Jackson’s teammate Dillon Brooks was one of five players named to the league’s All-Defensive Second Team. He was joined by Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo and Boston Celtics guard Derrick White.
All five players named to the first team made it easily, landing on at least 75 of the 100 ballots cast — including at least 49 first-place votes for each of them.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo wound up with more total votes (44) and points (60) than Adebayo (40 and 53, respectively). But Antetokounmpo’s votes came at forward, while Adebayo’s came at center, earning the Heat big man the second-team All-Defense center spot.
Jackson, who led the NBA with 3.0 blocks, has been named to the All-Defensive First Team for a second year in a row, after being the second-youngest player in NBA history to win Defensive Player of the Year. Lopez, meanwhile, picked up his second All-Defense selection of his career after leading the league in contested shots with 1,362 and blocking 2.5 shots per game.
Holiday received his fifth All-Defense selection in the past six seasons as he and Lopez helped lead the Bucks to the NBA’s third-best defense this season.
Mobley, in his second season, established himself as one of the league’s most versatile defensive bigs and partnered with center Jarrett Allen to power what was the NBA’s best defense.
Caruso was the backbone of Chicago’s surprising finish as the fifth-best defense, as the Bulls were six points per 100 possessions better with him on the court this season defensively.
The All-Defensive team announcement comes in the wake of the league announcing its All-Rookie Teams Monday. Wednesday night, the league will unveil its All-NBA teams, before the final week of awards voting wraps up with the presentation of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award Thursday afternoon.