NBA announces 2018-19 All-Defensive team

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced today.

The three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award finished with nearly identical point totals as the top vote-getters for the NBA All-Defensive Teams.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team features Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (145 points; 63 First Team votes) and Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (100 points; 36 First Team votes).  Smart and Bledsoe are both first-time selections to an NBA All-Defensive Team.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of  Philly’s Joel Embiid, New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. The NBA All-Defensive First Team consists of Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe and Boston’s Marcus Smart.

The winner of the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award will be revealed at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.  The third annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

2018-19 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Position Player, Team 1st Team (2 Pts.) 2nd Team (1 Pt.) Total Points All-Defensive Selections
Center Rudy Gobert, Utah 97 2 196 3 (three 1st)
Forward Paul George, Oklahoma City 96 3 195 4 (two 1st, two 2nd)
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee 94 5 193 2 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Guard Marcus Smart, Boston 63 19 145 1
Guard Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee 36 28 100 1

 

2018-19 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Position Player, Team 1st Team (2 Pts.) 2nd Team (1 Pt.) Total Points All-Defensive Selections
Guard Jrue Holiday, New Orleans 31 28 90 2 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Guard Klay Thompson, Golden State 23 36 82 1
Center Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 4 72 80 2 (two 2nd)
Forward Draymond Green, Golden State 2 57 61 5 (three 1st, two 2nd)
Forward Kawhi Leonard, Toronto 5 29 39 5 (three 1st, two 2nd)

 


NBA announces awards finalists for 2018-19 season

The NBA today announced the finalists for six awards that honor top performers from the 2018-19 regular season: Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year.

The winners of these awards will be revealed at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.  The third annual NBA Awards will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

The finalists for the six annual awards, based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, are below:

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

James Harden, Houston Rockets

  Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

 

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

     
Kia NBA Sixth Man Award

 

Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers

Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

Lou Williams, LA Clippers

  Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

     
Kia NBA Most Improved Player

 

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

  NBA Coach of the Year

 

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks

Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets

Doc Rivers, LA Clippers

The 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia will also feature the announcement of the winners for the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA Sportsmanship Award, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente, the NBA Hustle Award and the fan-voted House of Highlights Moment of the Year.

In addition, basketball icons Magic Johnson and Larry Bird will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and broadcasting legend Robin Roberts will be honored with the Sager Strong Award.

Kellerman: ‘If Giannis is knocking down threes, he’s gonna be the best player that ever lived, that includes Jordan'(VIDEO)

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an MVP-caliber season, and at this point, with Bucks having the best record in the NBA, his chances of winning the award are excellent. He can do it all; he can handle, drive and finish in the lane, and in 55 games, Giannis is averaging 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.

However, Giannis does have a flaw, and that is his shooting ability. He is shooting just 24% from downtown, but on Saturday, Giannis was on fire. He shot 3-4 from beyond the arc and finished with 27 points as the Bucks beat the Timberwolves 140-128.

According to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, if Giannis can ever gets a consistent jumper, he could be the greatest of all-time.

Listen below as Kellerman talks Giannis:

 

Lopez on Giannis winning MVP: ‘He should have a lot of people’s votes'(VIDEO)

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, but unlike previous years, those numbers are translating to a lot more wins. Milwaukee currently has the best record in basketball(39-13), and Antetokounmpo has an excellent case for MVP.

Statistically, his numbers are great. “The Greek Freak” is 8th in point per game(26.7) and 6th in rebounds per game(12.6). While Houston’s James Harden(36.5 ppg) continues to put up great numbers, he is not having as much team success as Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Traditionally, the MVP goes to the best player on the best team, which means Antetokounmpo has a legitimate shot at being the league’s MVP, and according to Bucks C Brook Lopez, Giannis should get plenty of votes.

“He should have a lot of people’s votes,” Lopez recently told goforitradio.com. “He has been just a huge part of what we do, no question. He’s our leader in so many different ways.”

If the Bucks continue to play well, and Antetokounmpo continues to put up great numbers, he probably wins the award. Regarding the Bucks as championship contenders, they have a legit shot to make the NBA Finals, and while Milwaukee is playing well right now, Lopez expects them to be even better come playoff time.

“I think we will be a completely different team in May and June,” Lopez said. “We’re going to be a lot better team as well, so we’re just trying to keep improving each and every game.”

It’s hard to get better than 26 games over .500, but if the Bucks continue to improve, Giannis wins the MVP, and Milwaukee will be representing the East in the NBA Finals.

Listen to the complete interview with Lopez below: