NBA unveils First and Second All-Defensive Teams for 2020-21

Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images /

The NBA announced its 2020-21 All-Defensive teams on Monday. Find out who made the list and who got snubbed.

Headlined by Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gorbert, the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive Teams feature three members of the Philadelphia 76ers, two Miami Heat, two Milwaukee Bucks and three others.

Without further ado, here are the league’s toughest defenders.

NBA All-Defensive First Team

  • Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
  • Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
  • Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

NBA All-Defensive Second Team

  • Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
  • Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)

2020-21 NBA All-Defensive Teams announced: Who got snubbed?

The 2020-21 All-Defensive First Team looks almost exactly how we predicted it would, with one small exception: we had Bam Adebayo on the First Team instead of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Second Team, however, differs slightly from what we expected. There’s a couple of notable snubs we absolutely must mention.

Firstly, Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns deserved a nomination here. He’s the best defender on the sixth-ranked defense in the NBA — a team that just completed a playoff sweep of NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. His instincts and ability to come up with timely deflections or steals make him an invaluable asset to the Suns. Bridges finished with the most votes (39 points) of anyone who did not make an All-Defensive team, and he could have easily been on the list ahead of Thybulle or Leonard.

Secondly, Clint Capela was pivotal in cleaning up the glass for the Atlanta Hawks. The 6-foot-10 center finished first in the NBA in rebounds this year with 14.3 boards per game. He also averaged 2.0 blocks per game as the team’s defensive anchor. He finished with 36 points in the voting, but we thought he was worthy of a nod.

Lastly, our honorable mentions go out to Los Angeles Lakers point guard Alex Caruso, Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.

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