Avery Bradley has been a standout defender for the past couple seasons…in the regular season anyway. Now he has a trophy to prove it. The NBA announced this afternoon that the third-year guard has been elected by coaches around the league to the second-team all-NBA defensive team for the first time in his career.
Bradley earned the reward despite missing the first two months of the NBA season due to recovering from shoulder surgery. He was given ten first team votes and five second team votes by 30 NBA head coaches. Tony Allen and Chris Paul were the only two guards in the NBA that received more all-defensive votes than Bradley.
So who joined Bradley on the second team? And just how far away was Kevin Garnett from making the all-defensive team? Full voting breakdown after the jump
2012-13 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
2012-13 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Other players receiving votes, with point totals (First Team votes in parentheses):
Andre Iguodala, Denver, 16 (2); Larry Sanders, Milwaukee, 16 (4); Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City, 15 (2); Luol Deng, Chicago, 11 (1); Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers, 9 (3); Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (6 (1); Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 6 (2); Kenneth Faried, Denver, 4 (1); Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 4 (1); Shane Battier, Miami, 2; Nicolas Batum, Portland, 2 (1); Corey Brewer, Denver, 2; George Hill, Indiana, 2; Mike James, Dallas, 2 (1); Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 2, (1); Tony Parker, San Antonio, 2 (1); Dwyane Wade, Miami, 2; Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers, 2 (1); Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers, 1; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 1; Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, 1; Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota, 1; Iman Shumpert, New York, 1; David West, Indiana, 1.
Not one vote for KG. That was more than a bit surprising. Here’s more on Bradley’s defensive effort this year from Ryan DeGama’s report card.
When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Bradley immediately supercharged Boston’s defense. His full-court harassments and merciless on-ball pressure, already notable in New England, started to get national attention and reinforced thoughts the Celtics had a future defensive player of the year on the roster.Danny Ainge, in the least breathless language he coould muster, compared Bradley’s game-changing defensive impact to that of Kevin Garnett.
His defense was less overwhelming due to its familiarity but no less excellent. His Synergy numbers (courtesy mysynerysports.com) were terrific. Bradley ranked as the 16th best defender in the league in pure points-per-possession, with particular strengths limiting pick and roll ball handlers (Doc Riversrecently noted how happy he was with Boston’s PNR coverage this season; credit Bradley for much of that) and in situations where he went mano-a-mano (post defense and face-up ISO defense). It remains a wonder to watch this kid jolt back and forth, sticking with an attacker who’s trying to cross him over or change directions. Nobody in the league recovers better than Bradley in situations like that.