Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Andre Iguodala, Inexplicably, Not Named To All-Defense Team

At this point, I’m thinking there’s a conspiracy against Andre Iguodala somewhere out there. It’s like something is causing him to always be unappreciated by both Philly fans and the masses. Because there’s no other plausible reason for him to not be on the NBA’s All-Defense team. But when the results were tallied, Iguodala found himself without any honors.


2011-12 NBA All-Defensive First Team

Position Player (Team) 1st 2nd Points
Forward LeBron James (Heat) 24 5 53
Forward Serge Ibaka (Thunder) 20 7 47
Center Dwight Howard (Magic) 16 9 41
Guard Chris Paul (Clippers) 13 9 35
Guard Tony Allen (Grizzlies) 13 7 33
2011-12 NBA All-Defensive Second Team
Position Player (Team) 1st 2nd Points
Forward Kevin Garnett (Celtics) 8 10 26
Forward Luol Deng (Bulls) 6 8 20
Center Tyson Chandler (Knicks) 13 10 36
Guard Rajon Rondo (Celtics) 9 11 29
Guard Kobe Bryant (Lakers) 7 3 17

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (First Team votes in parentheses): Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia, 19 (4)…

Yes, Andre Iguodala, who made the all-star game because of his defense, who finished 7th in DPOY voting, and who held down opposing small forwards so much that SI’s Zach Lowe described their impacts as “mush” , is not a member of the NBA’s all-defense teams.

You can’t use his teammates as an excuse: the Sixers were among the best defenses all year long, finishing third during the regular season in defensive efficiency. And only one teammate registered any vote at all (Jrue Holiday received a single 2nd-team vote). I have a hard time disparaging the forwards selected, however. Serge Ibaka is by far the worst defender among them, but he has the biggest defensive counting numbers and isn’t bad himself, just not elite. The biggest issue for me comes in the backcourt, namely with Kobe Bryant, who makes the team on reputation for the second consecutive year, despite rarely defending the opponent’s best player – that is left up to Metta World Peace. Iguodala always begins the game on the opposing team’s best wing. And when the Sixers needed him to, he switched onto any perimeter player, from the amazingly strong Carmelo Anthony to the lightning-quick Derrick Rose. And he defended them all better than almost anyone.  Meanwhile, the defense behind him, while somewhat underrated (in Elton Brand, at least), doesn’t do him many favors.

Simply put, in my opinion he’s the best positional defender in the NBA, and the combination of moronic voting by assistant coaches and the lack of flexibility in the voting system (especially since players cross-check different positions more in today’s NBA than pretty much ever) leaves Iguodala off the team entirely.

Whatever the conspiracy is, it’s working.

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Tags: Andre Iguodala Carmelo Anthony Derrick Rose Elton Brand Jrue Holiday Kobe Bryant Metta World Peace

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