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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All-Defensive Team Questions Answered...Partially

In my article about the All-Defensive Team voting I noted that the NBA's official press release only lists 149 First Team votes (instead of 150) and that Memphis center Marc Gasol made the Second Team even though Milwaukee center Larry Sanders received more total points that Gasol. I sent an inquiry to the NBA office about these two discrepancies and I have been informed by the league that the missing First Team vote belongs to Kawhi Leonard, who was correctly listed in the press release with two points even though his First Team vote was not indicated in parentheses (a First Team vote is worth two points, while a Second Team vote is worth one point).

I have also been informed that "the coaches' point total for Sanders was for the forward position." The NBA did not provide an explanation for why Sanders was considered a forward in the All-Defensive Team voting. The Milwaukee Bucks' roster at their official NBA.com website designates Sanders as a center. Sanders is also listed as a center at ESPN.com and every other website/publication that I have seen.

EDIT: After originally posting this article, I reread the NBA's All-Defensive Team press release and noticed that Leonard's First Team vote actually is listed in parentheses but in the next row of the notes after his point total so that my eyes somehow scanned over it when I initially added up all of the First Team votes. So, all 150 First Team votes were actually noted in the press release from the start--but the positional designations are still odd and that is a much larger concern. Since the NBA considered Sanders a forward, the First Team voting totals are as follows:

Forwards (61):

LeBron James 25
Serge Ibaka 17
Paul George 7
Larry Sanders 4
Tim Duncan 3
Luol Deng 1
Kenneth Faried 1
Nic Batum 1
Metta World Peace 1
Kawhi Leonard 1

Centers (27)

Tyson Chandler 9
Joakim Noah 8
Marc Gasol 5
Dwight Howard 3
Roy Hibbert 2

Guards (62)

Tony Allen 25
Chris Paul 15
Avery Bradley 10
Mike Conley 4
Andre Iguodala 2
Thabo Sefolosha 2
Kobe Bryant 1
Russell Westbrook 1
Mike James 1
Tony Parker 1

If Sanders were correctly listed as a center and if the vote for Mike James at guard was actually a clerical error by someone who meant to choose LeBron James at forward then the First Team votes would make more sense positionally, but even in that scenario the totals would be 58, 31 and 61 instead of 60, 30, 60 as they should be.

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posted by David Friedman @ 5:49 PM



At Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:29:00 AM, Anonymous Giddi said...

Duncan at Center and Iggy at Forward would make 60 30 60 and seems most logical.

I think the NBA just wanted to have Gasol on the second team, but I think in either way it's stupid to have the third best player on the second team just because the two better players are tied in votes.

Either don't have a center on the second team or break up the tie for first with "who has more first votes" like many other sports do, but like I said, to have the third best player on the second team doesn't make a lot of sense.

At Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:36:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Yes, that would make things add up properly--but Duncan is officially listed as a Second Team forward so the league did not count him as a center. It is not clear how the league designated Iguodala (he did not make the First or Second Team, so his position is not listed in the notes) but whether he was correctly designated as a guard or incorrectly designated as a forward the First Team votes still do not add up properly.

There have been ties in All-Defensive Team voting before and the ties have always been resolved in this fashion so it cannot be said that the NBA broke precedent just to include Gasol. The main thing that does not makes sense is listing Sanders as a center. I have asked the NBA for clarification about this.


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