Earlier this week, the NBA released its all-NBA teams. There were few surprises on the first team with Chris Paul, James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Joakim Noah. The second and third team had their controversies as well. The Crossover Chronicles staff tackled the surprises ahead of the NBA Finals’ Game Two:
Philip Rossman-Reich: Let’s go a little off-topic on the Finals. What were your thoughts about this year’s All-NBA teams? Some have called the third team the worst in a long time in the NBA and LeBron did not get unanimous first-team selection!
Josh Burton: Other than James Harden somehow being named as a first-team selection, I think the All-NBA team is pretty fair. Harden’s lack of defensive consistency and effort throughout the season and playoffs was obvious and glaring and was a huge reason the Rockets’ season wasn’t better. Now, I’m not sure who would be the perfect choice to replace Harden, but I just don’t see how such a one-dimensional player could be named to that high honor.
Also, LeBron may have his faults, but how one writer didn’t consider him to be worthy of the First Team is plainly absurd.
Finally, I personally would like to think that even on a non-playoff team, Anthony Davis of the Pelicans was one of the top-15 players in the league and definitely in the top-9 amongst frontcourt players. He did miss some time with injury but his offensive and defensive games were both dominant, even on a team that was ravaged by injury and didn’t have many of its top players.
In general, no real complaints about the All-NBA teams. These are regular season selections, but legacies are made in the playoffs. James Harden can have his first-team honor… he didn’t cover himself in honor or glory in the playoffs. Neither did Chris Paul. Those are rather hollow awards for the two men.
If anything stuck out about the overall vote and point totals, Kyle Lowry being buried as far down the list as he was struck me as surprising. Yes, I focus on college basketball during the balance of the winter, but Lowry was really that far behind everyone else? I have a hard time seeing that.
Philip: LeBron not getting a unanimous selection to the first team is pretty egregious. I guess Chris Sheridan had a pretty good reason. He voted LeBron third in his MVP ballot behind Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. So maybe he was being consistent. There is something to say about that. And really, Griffin should have found a way onto the First Team, but the requirement of voting — two guard, two forwards and a center.
My only quibble with the first team is probably replacing James Harden with Stephen Curry. Harden just does not do it for me — gaudy numbers and little substance. That Rockets team should have been a lot better.
The third team was really surprising. Goran Dragic had a really nice year but does not scream all-NBA team even with his great season. Al Jefferson was solid and had a great second half of the season, but seems a bit out of place too. I kind of like that these players were honored in some way.
I think Matt and Josh really hit on the biggest snubs. Anthony Davis and Kyle Lowry had fantastic seasons and deserved a spot in this group. I also have to wonder where are the Grizzlies? Specifically Zach Randolph. Memphis had a ton of injuries at the beginning of the year and came on really strong at the end of the year. Randolph was the consistent plug for all of that. I do not know if you can take LaMarcus Aldridge or Paul George off the team.
Positionless voting needs to get here now . . .