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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

POSITION PLAYER, TEAM 1ST 2ND POINTS
Forward LeBron James, Miami 25 2 52
Forward Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City 17 12 46
Center Tyson Chandler, New York 9 6 24
Center Joakim Noah, Chicago 8 8 24
Guard Tony Allen, Memphis 25 3 53
Guard Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers 15 7 37

2012-13 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM

POSITION PLAYER, TEAM 1ST 2ND POINTS
Forward Tim Duncan, San Antonio 3 14 20
Forward Paul George, Indiana 7 13 27
Center Marc Gasol, Memphis 5 2 12
Guard Avery Bradley, Boston 10 5 25
Guard Mike Conley, Memphis 4 11 19

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.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Marko

    That's incredible that KG did not get any votes.

  • hydrofluoric

    Chris Paul being above Avery Bradley is a joke, as is Iblocka making first team. I'd argue Chandler also doesn't really deserve to be close to top honors this year.

    Other jokes: No KG… Mike James/Kobe Bryant/Tony Parker getting votes… Hibbert falling as ridiculously low as he did… LeBron James being left off one list entirely (huh???)

    • Mark

      Kobe has not been an All NBA defender in a decade. He's been overrated for years.

    • Rav

      According to Kelly Dwyer on Ball Don't Lie, the fact that Mike James got a first-team vote "can be blamed on his possible presence next to LeBron James on the drop-down menu the NBA sent out to voters".

      He's probably correct. If you look at Lebron's vote tally, he's only received 27 votes (25 first team, 1 second team), so he's missing a total of two votes; Mike James got two votes.

      Kinda makes you wonder how legit these things are.

      • Rav

        I meant to say "25 first team, *2 second team". And of course, he's only "missing" two votes if you assume he should have been on every coach's ballot for at least one of the two teams.

  • dslack

    How did the defensive player of the year not make the first team all defense?

    • snow

      It's funny. That happened last year too.

    • Rav

      The reason there is a difference is that it's coaches who decide these teams, while DPOY is a panel of writers, broadcasters etc.

      I agree though; it is odd that 30 coaches can disagree so strongly with ~130 journalists.

  • High Rollers

    Way to go, Pit Bull.

  • Mark

    So the NBA considers flopping to be defense? Not sure any other reason for Chris Paul to be considered as a good defender can be used. Paul couldn't defend Tao's imaginary girlfriend without flopping.

  • CG12

    The all-defense team is a joke. The picks are based solely on reputation, not on performance. Avery’s selection, while an honor, just shows that his reputation is taking hold. He can expect to remain all-D for many years, without regard to his actual performance and barring a complete collapse.

  • IBleedGreen

    How did Marc Gasol win the DPOY but not on the first team? That's like putting LeBron James on the All NBA 2nd team…total doesn't make sense.

  • Rav

    I wonder if coaches construct these teams as "teams", as opposed to just picking the best defensive player at each position (i.e. they think that James+Ibaka+Chandler/Noah+Paul+Allen is better than James+Ibaka+Gasol+Paul+Allen). It could (sort of) explain why coaches think Gasol's not first-team despite journalists thinking he's DPOY. I don't know what kind of voting guidance the coaches get.

    Why is the NBA sorting the teams into Forward/Center/Guard, if the All-Star Ballot has changed to Frontcourt/Backcourt to reflect the "extinction of big men"? If they did it the All-Star way, Tim Duncan would have made the team over Noah/Chandler (the funny thing is, Duncan's sort of a center anyway!).

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  • Morpheus

    Chris Paul on the 1st team is a complete JA…HOKE!!!

    So is Marc Gasol being on the 2nd team.

    Not one vote for KG is a crime.

    Hibbert should be higher.

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