Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Giannis, Marcus Smart headline NBA All-Defensive Team
Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns lead the 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced today.
Smart and Bridges comprise the two guards on the Kia NBA All-Defensive First Team. Smart, the 2021-22 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, received 198 points (99 First Team votes) to earn his third selection to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Bridges, who finished in second place for the Defensive Player of the Year Award in his third NBA season, received 193 points (95 First Team votes). This is Bridges’ first selection to the NBA All-Defensive Team (First Team and Second Team).
Joining Smart and Bridges on the 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive First Team are Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (171 points; 76 First Team votes), Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (156 points; 63 First Team votes) and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (153 points; 55 First Team votes).
Gobert, a three-time Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the sixth consecutive season. Antetokounmpo, the 2019-20 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, is an NBA All-Defensive First Team honoree for the fourth straight season. Jackson, a four-year NBA veteran and the 2021-22 season leader in blocks per game (2.27), is making his debut on the NBA All-Defensive Team.
The 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (152 points), Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (89 points), Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle (87 points), Celtics center Robert Williams III (70 points) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (34 points).
This is the third NBA All-Defensive Team selection for Adebayo, the fourth for Holiday and the second for Thybulle. Williams joins Bridges and Jackson as a first-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Green, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has earned his seventh selection to the NBA All-Defensive Team.
The 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive Team was selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded two points for each vote to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and one point for each vote to the Second Team. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position at which they received the most voting points.
The voting results for the 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive Team are below. The “Total Points” category represents voting points that players received at any position, not just the position at which they are listed. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP. Complete ballots for each voter will be posted at PR.NBA.com after the announcement of all end-of-season awards.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.