Welcome back to the second part of our All-NBA team selections, today Aodán Mitchell will be talking us through his second team.
As mentioned yesterday, the first team was pretty easy but this is where things began to get a little tricky as I was forced to start thinking about who I was ultimately going to snub with my selections, shall we proceed? Yes indeed!
Here’s the official All-NBA Second Team, as released by the NBA on Wednesday, followed by the PA Second Team:
- Guard: Tony Parker, SAS
- Guard: Stephen Curry, GSW
- Forward: Kevin Love, MIN
- Forward: Blake Griffin, LAC
- Center: Dwight Howard, HOU
PA Second Team
- Guard: Goran Dragic, PHO
- Guard: Chris Paul, LAC
- Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge, POR
- Forward: Blake Griffin, LAC
- Center: Dwight Howard,HOU
Guard: Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Even though my beloved Phoenix Suns ultimately fell short of the playoffs because of the crazy competitive Western Conference, they still made more progress than anybody thought they would.
Vegas were starting the over-under bets of how many games the Suns would win at 19. This band of misfits weren’t meant to be fighting for a playoff spot, they were meant to be fighting for lottery balls. However, the Suns’ floor general, Goran ‘Dragon’ Dragic, wasn’t going to let that happen.
Dragic stood out all season long and deservedly won the Most Improved Player this year. Usually the MIP award is given to someone whose stats rise dramatically but the majority of the time these increases are a result of more playing time. This was not the case with the Suns PG.
Dragic played roughly the same amount of minutes this year as he did last year but still made improvements in most categories. As good as his offense was, his defense was equally as good, a thoroughly deserved All-NBA spot.
Guard: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers.
We can usually mark a first All-NBA spot for Paul every year but his lack of time spent on the court is what takes him down a notch to the second team. When he was healthy he was the best point guard in the league. Again this was a difficult choice as the final spot in the 1st team came down to Paul and Harden, I either rewarded Paul for missing games or rewarded Harden and his awful defense. In the end Harden won and Paul is on the second team.
To put Paul’s ability into perspective, take a look at the following stat: the Clippers had the best offense in the league with Paul but their offensive rating dropped by five points without him.
That is a huge drop off and we can not forget the fact that Paul maintained his usual defensive aggression and led the league in steals.
Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
This was another tough selection as I was basically debating whether to reward team success or individual brilliance. In the end Aldridge and his team’s success won out. Kevin Love was the other candidate for this spot and put up some crazy numbers but LaMarcus’ numbers should not be overlooked.
He was able to put up 23.2 ppg, 11.1 rpg and a solid 1.0 bpg, very impressive numbers in their own right.
As mentioned earlier, team success was the reason for Aldridge getting the nod here, Portland weren’t expected to make much noise this season but they certainly did. They made the playoffs and defeated the Houston Rockets in Round One thanks to huge contributions from Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Forward: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
If it was not for those other two forwards in the league, Blake would easily have made the first team. We really cannot forget how good Blake was when Chris Paul missed games due to a separated shoulder. Paul is the engine that makes the Clippers offense run.
However, during Paul’s 18 game absence, Blake averaged 27.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg.
Griffin proved he can shoulder the load when Paul isn’t there and he also developed on the defensive end this season under the tutelage of Doc Rivers.
Center: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
A lot of people tend to forget how good a two-way player Howard truly is. The reason for this forgetfulness is simple; people do not like Howard anymore. They do not like him because of the way he left Orlando and they do not like him for leaving LA in an equally messy fashion.
However, one cannot knock how good the guy was this season. He enjoyed a bounce-back season proving to many that his back troubles were behind him (excuse the pun).
He was a force defensively, reminiscent of his days in Orlando. He was forced to clean up for James Harden’s schoolboy errors on the defensive end numerous times.
He proved to us that he is a pretty good offensive player, scoring well from the low post and at a pretty efficient rate. People may not like D12 but they need to recognize how good he is or he will quickly become the most underrated player in the game.
And there you have it folks, my All NBA second team selections. Make sure to come back tomorrow to find out who made the final cut on the All-NBA Third Team.
Aodán Mitchell, Pundit Arena