Making Sense Of The All-NBA Teams

At the request of fellow TSFJ colleague and co-creator of the amazing photo below, Kyle Madson, I am going to provide the best logical case for the three All-NBA teams for this season. A few things to note:

Big Brother Tillman and Kyle Madson.

Winning is important, and stats are receipts of evidence, but how wonderful and effective a season a player has had will outweigh all factors in my selections. Basketball is a sport in which individual effectiveness can be trumped by other forms of effectiveness that determine wins and losses. No one player does everything. Let's begin.

First Team

Russell Westbrook
James Harden
LeBron James
Kawhi Leonard
Anthony Davis

I feel I only have to explain the Anthony Davis selection, and that selection begins and ends with 30 points and 10 rebounds per game on a team that has no perimeter shooting and gainfully employs Solomon Hill and E'Twaun Moore. The other four players are locks, to me, because they are the top four MVP candidates.

Second Team

DeMar DeRozan
Isaiah Thomas
Kevin Durant
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Rudy Gobert

This immediately became tricky. Hairs were split and nits were picked. The two guards deserve to be recognized for the leaps they've taken in their respective games. Kevin Durant is the best player on the Warriors. Giannis Antetokounmpo has had a better season than Jimmy Butler and Paul George. But I gave the nod to Gobert over Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins because the Frenchman is the best rim protector the NBA has seen in a few years. He's more effective than prime Dwight Howard, and if Kawhi Leonard wasn't a one-man windowless room, Gobert would be the Defensive Player of The Year.

Third Team

John Wall
Steph Curry
Draymond Green
Jimmy Butler
Karl-Anthony Towns

I thought about switching the second and third team guards. And I switched Butler and Antetokounmpo before the final draft of this post. Surprisingly, the guards were the easiest to choose of this team—no disrespect to Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson. After Westbrook and Harden, Wall and Curry are probably the next two best lead guards in the Association. I picked Towns over Cousins because both players had amazing seasons on losing teams, and Towns has been better than Boogie, especially after the All-Star break.

This regular season had quite a few of the game's best players finish with more than stellar individual years. This further complicates placing them in tiers because the mixture of better player and better season varies with each case. The reason John Wall is honored over Kyrie Irving differs from the reason why Kawhi is honored over Draymond Green.

I don't have the exact formula, but I do feel at the very least that every player mentioned has a legitimate reason to make any of the All-NBA teams. Have fun dissecting my picks in that comments. I look forward to tactful, logical discussion.

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