Yesterday the 2015-16 All-NBA teams were released. Making an All-NBA teams is one of the biggest achievements there is in the league. Decided by a panel of media voters, they vote on the season’s best guards, forwards, and centers. This year, some of the recipients were higher than expected. Others, not so much. Without further ado, here are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams. Complete with my personal opinions.
2015-16 All-NBA First-Team
F – LeBron James, total points: 637
F – Kawhi Leonard, total points: 575
C – DeAndre Jordan: total points: 317
G – Stephen Curry, total points: 645, unanimous
G – Russell Westbrook, total points: 627
The two forward spots are very interesting as LeBron, Kawhi, and Durant were all worthy of the 1st team selections. Ultimately, Durant would drop to the second-team for the following reasons:
– LeBron James’ Cavaliers won 57 games, despite Kyrie Irving missing 25 games (including 23 straight).
– Kawhi Leonard was the clear cut best player on a 67 win Spurs team, while being the league’s defensive player of the year.
– The Thunder finished the season with 55 wins, but came out of the all-star break with a 4-8 record, losing many winnable games to inferior teams. They should have really been a 60 win team.
– Also, Durant missed the most games out of the three. This may be nitpicking, but we have to when talking about the All-NBA first-team.
Now we have DeAndre Jordan. This is very confusing… I would have never expected him to make it, and I honestly don’t agree with the decision. Jordan’s 12.7 points per game is the second lowest of any first-team selection, the lowest being Joakim Noah (12.6) back during the 2013-2014 season. Sure, he also had 13.8 rebounds a game to go along with 2.3 blocks, but DJ is just an athletic big man, who runs the break to jam lob passes, blocks shots, grabs boards, and stars in State Farm commercials. Yes, he was the only all-NBA level big man to be a on 50 win team, but considering that he isn’t as dominant or skilled as DeMarcus Cousins or Karl Anthony Towns, I have to wonder what the voters were thinking. Was this just a, “Screw it, we’ll give it to DJ vote?”
As for our guards, there is no debate here. Curry and Westbrook were the league’s best guards this year. The unanimous MVP had 30-5-7 and led the league in steals to go with 50-40-90 shooting. Russ led the league with 18 triple doubles, averaging 24-7-10 on the season.
2015-16 All-NBA Second-Team
F – Kevin Durant, total points: 452
F – Draymond Green, total points: 431
C – DeMarcus Cousins, total points: 277
G – Chris Paul, total points: 353
G – Damian Lillard, total points: 217
I don’t have complaints for this second-team. As I previously said, Durant does have a case for first-team, but ultimately should be a second-team selection. Draymond Green obviously follows as he was the second best player on the Golden State Warriors with his all-around play that led to a 14-10-7 stat line.
DeMarcus Cousins is currently the most dominant center in the league, but with Sacramento playing another losing season, I can accept him being bumped to the second-team, just not bumped by DeAndre.
Of any guard to carry an all-NBA team, CP3 carried the most. Blake Griffin ended up missing exactly half of the season, and the Clippers still finished with 54 wins. This is a testament to how the floor general can make something out of any player in the league.
Damian Lillard’s All-Star snub looks even more ridiculous now. I’m proud to say that I expected Portland to make the playoffs this year, but considering how top heavy the West was, it’ll be interesting to see if they can make it next year.
2015-16 All-NBA Third-Team
F – Paul George, total points: 157
F – LaMarcus Aldridge, total points: 103
C – Andre Drummond, total points: 173
G – Klay Thompson, total points: 164
G – Kyle Lowry, total points: 155
Paul George took a style changing Indiana team and brought it to a seventh seed, then took Toronto to game seven in round one. Obviously he deserves the all-NBA nod. LaMarcus played well as we got deeper into the season, but I personally would argue that Paul Millsap was more deserving. Aldridge was more inconsistent while adjusting to his new team, and Millsap had been Atlanta’s defensive backbone, as he led the team defensive win shares, while being the most reliable player on a day-to-day basis. If you want to award LMA for being apart of a 67 win team, I can understand that but, as far as individual seasons are concerned, Millsap had a better year.
No debate for anyone else for third-team center other than maybe KAT, but Andre the Giant’s team made it to the post-season. Not to mention that the double-double machine led the league in rebounds.
Finally, our third team guards are Klay Thompson and Kyle Lowry. Both definitely deserved to be on the all-NBA team, but some might argue that Klay should be on the second-team considering that he was the best two guard this year, and he was a part of the greatest regular season team ever. Ultimately, I’d leave him on the third-team, because CP3 and Dame had better individual seasons and were the leaders of teams to make the playoffs. It doesn’t subtract from Klay’s season. As for Lowry, he was the best guard in the Eastern Conference this year. He led Toronto to a franchise record 55 wins, their first 50 win season ever. So you have to give it to him.