Kawhi Leonard headlines NBA All-Defensive First Team

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 6: Kawhi Leonard (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 6: Kawhi Leonard (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) /

San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard was a unanimous selection to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. Here are the 10 players to make either squad.

ESPN’s Marc J. Spears shared with us the 2015-16 NBA’s All-Defensive First Team and All-Defensive Second Team. These 10 NBA defensive stalwarts absolutely earned their inclusion on either team this season.

Headlining the NBA All-Defensive First Team was San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard, who not only won Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row but garnered all 130 first place votes as a unanimous All-Defensive First Team selection.

The four other players to make the first team were Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green, who received 123 of a possible 130 first place votes, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley and Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

Completing the All-Defensive Second Team was Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap, Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen and Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler.

All 10 players to make either team were certainly deserving and don’t really come as much of a surprise. Millsap’s ascendance defensively wasn’t expected at the start of the year, but he anchored the No. 2 defense in the league in Atlanta.

What was also impressive was George’s inclusion on the second team given that he spent a great amount time playing the stretch four coming off his horrendous ankle injury playing for USA Basketball not even two years ago.

The best players to not make either team were Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson and Celtics small forward Jae Crowder. One could argue their inclusion on either team. What is not debatable is how fantastic players like Leonard, Paul, and Green are on the defensive end of the floor.

For more NBA posts, please check out our NBA category page.