NEW YORK, May 23, 2018 – Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalists Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans lead the 2017-18 NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Gobert was voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the second year in a row, as selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. The 7-1 center from France earned 192 points, including 94 First Team votes. Davis, a two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection, makes his debut on the First Team. The 6-11 forward/center received the second-most points (163) and First Team votes (73), behind Gobert.
The two big men are joined on the NBA All-Defensive First Team by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (136 points), Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (105) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (90). All three players are All-Defensive selections for the first time.
The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of 76ers center Joel Embiid (90 points), Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (86), Boston Celtics forward/center Al Horford (85), San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (80) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler (79). Like the First Team, the Second Team has three first-time All-Defensive selections: Embiid, Horford and Murray.
Embiid is the third finalist for the 2017-18 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, joining Gobert and Davis. The winner will be announced at the 2018 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 25 on TNT (9 p.m. ET). The second annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Players were awarded two points for each NBA All-Defensive First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote. 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 where they received the most votes.
Complete voting results by media member will be posted at pr.nba.com the night of the NBA Awards presented by Kia. Click here for the list of 100 media voters for the 2017-18 NBA All-Defensive Teams.
2017-18 NBA All-Defensive First Team
Robert Covington, 76ers: The former NBA G League Rookie of the Year and All-Star Game MVP led the NBA in deflections and was tops in defensive win shares among players who appeared in at least 70 percent of their teams’ games. The 76ers’ defensive rating, which ranked third in the NBA, was 99.0 when Covington was on the court and 107.4 when he was off the court – a difference of 8.4 points per 100 possessions.
Anthony Davis, Pelicans: A 2017-18 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award finalist, Davis led the NBA in blocked shots for the third time (2.57 bpg). He also finished fifth in the NBA in defending the rim (minimum 250 field goals defended), allowing opponents to shoot only 52.4 percent at the basket.
Rudy Gobert, Jazz: Opponents shot 10.0 percentage points worse than expected on shots fewer than 6 feet from the basket against Gobert. Utah ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating by allowing 101.6 points per 100 possessions – a number that improved to 97.7 points per 100 possessions when Gobert was on the court.
Jrue Holiday, Pelicans: New Orleans allowed 9.1 fewer points per 100 possessions with Holiday on the court than when he was off the court, the biggest difference for any Pelicans player.
Victor Oladipo, Pacers: A 2017-18 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award finalist, Oladipo averaged a league-leading 2.36 steals per game.
2017-18 NBA All-Defensive Second Team
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves: Butler averaged a career-high 1.97 steals per game, fourth best in the NBA.
Joel Embiid, 76ers: Opponents shot 7.8 percentage points worse than expected on all field goal attempts when Embiid was the closest defender, the NBA’s best such mark (minimum 200 shots defended).
Draymond Green, Warriors: The 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year was one of four qualifying players to average at least 1.30 steals and 1.30 blocked shots per game.
Al Horford, Celtics: An NBA All-Star for the fifth time, Horford helped Boston lead the NBA in defensive rating with 101.5 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Dejounte Murray, Spurs: In his second season, Murray ranked second among point guards in defensive rebounding percentage (22.0), behind the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (25.4).
Other players receiving votes, with point totals (All-Defensive First Team votes in parentheses): Chris Paul, Houston, 74 (20); Paul George, Oklahoma City, 69 (22); Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee, 43 (15); Kevin Durant, Golden State, 31 (7); Klay Thompson, Golden State, 24 (8); Josh Richardson, Miami, 22 (3); Marcus Smart, Boston, 18 (5); Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City, 17 (3); Jaylen Brown, Boston, 16 (5); Ben Simmons, Philadelphia, 16 (5); P.J. Tucker, Houston, 13 (2); Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 7 (1); Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 7 (1); Danny Green, San Antonio, 6 (2); Luc Mbah a Moute, Houston, 5 (1); Ricky Rubio, Utah, 4 (2); Andre Drummond, Detroit, 3; Gary Harris, Denver, 3; LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio, 2; AlFarouq Aminu, Portland, 2; Avery Bradley, LA Clippers, 2 (1); Steven Adams, Oklahoma City, 1; Will Barton, Denver, 1; Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee, 1; Ed Davis, Portland, 1; Derrick Favors, Utah, 1; LeBron James, Cleveland, 1; DeAndre Jordan, LA Clippers, 1; Damian Lillard, Portland, 1; Donovan Mitchell, Utah, 1; Fred VanVleet, Toronto, 1.