San Antonio Spurs teammates Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan were named to the NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams, respectively, on May 20.
San Antonio Spurs teammates Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan were named to the NBA All-Defensive Team on May 20.
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Leonard, the 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, joins Tony Allen of the Memhis Grizzlies, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2014-15 NBA All-Defensive First Team, per a press release on the Spurs' official website.
On the other hand, Duncan joins John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans and Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors in the 2014-15 All-NBA Defensive Second Team, per the Spurs' press release.
This mean's eight of the 10 players in the NBA All-Defensive Team are from the Western Conference, per ESPN.
Ducan's selection to the All-NBA Defensive team is his 15th, the most in league history. This also marks the 12th time two Spurs players were named to the All-NBA Defensive Team in the same season, per the team's official website.
Duncan's 15th time to be named to the NBA's best defensive players ranks hiim three ahead of Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett. Duncan also ranks ahead of Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul Jabbar (11) and Scottie Pippen (10), per the Spurs' press release.
The 39-year-old Duncan became the first NBA player aged 38 years or older to average at least 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks for an entire season. His average of 1.95 blocks per game during the 2014-15 season is the best for a player 38 years of age or older since the league started recoding this statitstical category in 1973, per NBA.com.
As for Leonard, it's his second straight time to be named to the NBA All-Defensive team. He made the Second Team in 2013-14, per the Spurs' official website.
Leonard also made a bit of history as he became just the sixth forward to lead the league in steals with his 2.31 average this season. He recorded more than one steal in 37 games and at least four in 16 games in 2014-15, per NBA.com.
Leonard and Duncan were at the forefront of a Spurs defense which held the opposition to an average below 100 points (97.0) for an NBA record 20th straight season. The Spurs' defense was one of the factors why the team finished 55-27 and made the playoffs for the 18th consecutive year, the longest active streak in the league, per NBA.com.
With Leonard and Duncan's accolades, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich now has 25 players named to the NBA All-Defensive Team since he was hired in 1996-97, per MySanAntonio.com's San McCarney.
By being named to the 2014-15 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, Bogut earned a bonus of $1,945,946 as stipulated in his contract, per ESPN's Marc Stein. In addition to being named to the All-Defensive Team, Bogut had to have suited up in at least 65 games.
Had Bogut not been named to the NBA All-Defensive Team, he still would have earned the $1.9 million bonus by being named an All-Star, an All-NBA first-, second- or third-team member or NBA Defensive Player of the Year, per Stein.
With Green on the court, the Warriors allowed just 96 points per 100 possessions. They already had the league's best defensive rating at 98.2 points per 100 possessions when he was on the bench, per the NBA's official website.
On the other hand, Allen and Paul finished third (2.05) and fifth (1.90)in steals per game, respectively. Jordan was the league leader in defensive rebounding at 10.1 per game and finished fourth in blocks at 2.23 per game, per NBA.com.
The 2014-15 NBA All-Defensive Teams were determined by voting from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, per NBA.com.
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