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Friday, May 24, 2013

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan Earn Milestone All-NBA Selections

Four-time MVP LeBron James is the only player who earned unanimous selection to the 2013 All-NBA First Team. James has made the First Team seven times, tied with Wilt Chamberlain for 14th on the all-time NBA/ABA list. Kobe Bryant joined James on the First Team and thus tied Karl Malone for first on the all-time NBA/ABA list with 11 First Team selections. Bryant's 15 overall All-NBA Team selections are matched only by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Tim Duncan made the All-NBA First Team for the 10th time overall and the first time since 2007. The 37 year old Duncan is the oldest First Team player since Abdul-Jabbar made the squad at 39 in 1986. Duncan's 14 overall All-NBA Team selections are tied for third on the all-time list (Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal) and he is one of seven players who have earned 10 First Team selections, trailing only Bryant and Abdul-Jabbar in that category. Kevin Durant and Chris Paul are the other two members of the All-NBA First Team this year.

Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker made the All-NBA Second Team, while the Third Team consists of David Lee, Paul George, Dwight Howard, James Harden and Dwyane Wade.

My All-NBA Team includes 12 of the 15 players selected by the media; I preferred Brook Lopez, Stephen Curry and Chris Bosh over Marc Gasol, James Harden and Paul George. One discrepancy is that the NBA considered Tim Duncan a center on the All-NBA Team but listed him as a forward on the All-Defensive Team; if the NBA correctly categorized Duncan as a forward on the All-NBA Team then he would have made the Second Team at that spot, bumping Griffin to the Third Team and knocking George off of the squad. Lopez would then have been the Third Team center.

The bottom line is that by listing Duncan under the wrong position the NBA denied Lopez an All-NBA selection, gave an All-NBA selection to George and moved Griffin up from the Third Team to the Second Team.

I put Westbrook on my First Team and Paul on my Second Team; the media consistently underrates Westbrook, though perhaps the impact his absence had on this year's playoffs will help people to further appreciate his value. Duncan and Anthony are my Second Team forwards, while I chose Paul and Wade as my Second Team guards.

I placed Lee, Griffin, Bosh, Parker and Curry on my Third Team.

Overall, the media voters did a solid job this year. My biggest disagreement is the aforementioned positional designation issue that cost Lopez All-NBA honors--and I also disagree with the voters who ranked him behind Gasol and Howard: Howard is the best big man in the NBA when he is healthy but he was not fully healthy in 2012-13 and I think that Lopez had the best all-around performance of any NBA center this season. Bosh received four First Team votes but he finished fifth overall among centers (fourth if Duncan is correctly listed as a power forward); his versatility is an important factor in Miami's success and he deserves All-NBA recognition even though his statistics are not overwhelming.

Harden had a better first half of the season than Curry and thus deservedly made the All-Star team ahead of Curry but Curry outperformed Harden down the stretch and should have made the All-NBA Third Team.

I might very well have picked George as a Third Team forward if I had classified Duncan as a center.


Here are some of my previous articles about All-NBA Team voting:

All-NBA Selections Mostly Make Sense Despite not Quite Adding Up (2012)

Analysis of the All-NBA Team Voting (2011)

Analyzing the Votes for the All-Defensive Team and the All-NBA Team (2010)

James, Bryant Top All-NBA Voting (2009)

The Best Player is Finally Recognized as the "Most Valuable" (2008)

Choosing This Season's NBA Awards Winners (2008)

Inside the NBA Crew Hands Out Some Hardware (2007)

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posted by David Friedman @ 1:43 AM



At Friday, May 24, 2013 3:54:00 PM, Anonymous AW said...

I didn't think that Duncan would be listed as a center for the all nba team. Congrats on Timmy for his. Tenth all nba first team selection. But as we know Duncan is no longer a franchise calibur/all nba first team calibur player. So if Dwight(the best big man in the league when healthy and a first team calibur/franchise player)was not going to get first team nba because he had an off year then someone had to get that spot. Other than than Duncan Marc Gasol or Brook Lopez were the only other ootions. Again not trying to demean those guys but they arent first team nba calibur players.

I also picked Westbrook for first team nba.

I think if Bosh was listed as a four he probably could have made the third team. But even at center he probably was better than Gasol.


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