The regular season showcase talent among players on both ends of the floor. There are aces, defensive specialists, floor generals, sixth man and sharpshooters. The players specialize in one or most of these roles and they gain recognition accordingly.
One of the recognitions given to the players is being a part of the NBA All-Defensive Teams. These players are defensive specialists in their position and make it a living hell for the opposition player to go through them. Sometimes they can turn the momentum of the game in their favour and every team wants to have them.
The NBA All Defensive First Team included the following players:-
The 2022 Defensive Player of The Year, Marcus Smart was an obvious pick for being in the All-Defensive First Team. His value on the defensive end of the floor is the reason why the Boston Celtics were such a well-rounded team. He has put up a statline of 1.7 steals per game. Plus he takes on the duty of guarding the best player on the opposing team. His defensive prowess has been finally recognized as top tier after such a long time in his career.
Mikal Bridges was also a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year. Bridges was always known for his ability to guard multiple positions when he came into the league. He took it into a whole new level this season by defending the best player in the opposing team. He has been developing his offensive game as the seasons go by but his defense is what gives the Suns a huge boost. This season he put up 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks per game. Although its not eye popping, his value goes way beyond the statsheet.
The Greek Freak is arguably the best player in the league at the moment. While he puts up mindblowing number on the offensive end, defensively, his energy on the court cannot be denied. While Brook Lopez was out most of the season, Giannis took on the role of being the anchor for the team and did it so superbly. This season he has put up 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game on top of that he had 9.6 defensive rebounds per game controlling the board.
Jaren Jackson Jr
This season has been the breakout for Jaren Jackson Jr. defensively. His role in the team was a question mark as he was a two way player who did not excel as much on either end of the floor. This season, he led the league in blocks averaging 2.3 blocks per game. He gave the Grizzlies much needed boost on the defensive end. Although he is not an outstanding rebounder but Jackson puts his effort into blocking his opponent’s shots.
Gobert has consistently been making noise on the defensive end of the court ever since he got drafted. He proved himself as the best defensive center in the league when it came to blocking shots in the interior. Countless times he has sent back shots which changed the momentum of the game. The Utah Jazz is weak defensively and Gobert’s value for the team is something which cannot be filled by any other player in the league.
These are the players who belong to the All-defensive First Team. They have proven their worth on the defensive end of the court and most players find it hard when any of these players guard them. Of course, there are moments when opponents can score on them but that doesn’t take away the fact that they are the reason why the team made it into the playoffs.