With Dwyane Wade, James Harden, Paul George, David Lee, and Dwight Howard making up the All-NBA Third Team, this is where it gets interesting. Players on the All-NBA Second Team can usually make a case for the All-NBA First team while those on the third team could have easily been left off the list completely.
Here is a look at the 2013 All-NBA Second Team:
Russell Westbrook – Point Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per contest as Oklahoma City’s second option. While once again overshadowed by the league’s most lethal scorer, Kevin Durant, the point guard put together another incredible season, landing him All-NBA Second Team honors.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma City’s championship hopes were cut short after Westbrook suffered a knee injury after just two playoff games that kept him out for the remainder of the postseason. Kevin Durant managed to carry the Thunder past the Houston Rockets in the first round, but he could not defeat the Memphis Grizzlies by his lonesome. Westbrook had not missed a game prior to Game 3 in his five-year career.
Tony Parker – Point Guard, San Antonio Spurs
Despite what their birth certificates may suggest, the San Antonio Spurs are as machine-like as we have in the NBA. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Gregg Popovich are still around, but the unquestioned leader and best player of the team is Tony Parker. The French point guard averaged 20.3 points on 52% shooting to go with 7.6 assists and a Player Efficiency Rating of 23.1.
At 31 years of age, Tony Parker was in the MVP discussion before a late season ankle injury prohibited him from finishing as strong as he had started. Regardless, Parker has led the Spurs to a 2-0 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals.
Carmelo Anthony – Forward, New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony may have just had his most impressive season to date in his ten-year career. Melo led the NBA in scoring with 28.7 points per game, but also racked up 6.9 rebounds and a PER of 24.83 in the process. While the Knicks’ swingman has always been regarded as one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the game, Anthony showed the development of his game over the years.
The biggest addition to Melo’s game was the ability to pull up from behind the arc at any time. Whether he was spotting up on the perimeter, in an isolation situation, or in transition, New York’s superstar shot an impressive 37.9% from deep on what was easily a career-high 414 attempts. Carmelo Anthony was led the Knicks into the playoffs as one of the NBA’s hottest teams and the second overall seed in the East.
Blake Griffin – Forward, Los Angeles Clippers
It is scary to believe that Blake Griffin has just wrapped up what was only his third season in the NBA. What many believed to be simply a high-flying freak of an athlete is out to prove otherwise. Griffin showed improvements to his back-to-the-basket post moves and mid-range jump shot. While his athleticism and ability to throw down SportsCenter caliber dunks on a nightly basis will always be a plus, Griffin is working to become an all-around superstar talent.
In his third season, he posted impressive numbers of 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. While many critics say that those numbers are down from a year ago and view that as discerning, they refuse to notice that his minutes took a significant dip as well. What should be important to the Clippers is that Blake Griffin is looking like a better player with every game, and according to most people close to Griffin or the Clippers organization, has one of the best work ethics in the game. His free throw percentage also rose to 66% after shooting a putrid 52% in his sophomore season.
Marc Gasol – Center, Memphis Grizzlies
Go figure. After the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year was left off the NBA All-Defensive teams, he was selected to the All-NBA Second Team. Gasol has established himself as one of the most polished big men in the entire league. With a game that somewhat resembles Tim Duncan, both relying on the fundamentals, the younger brother of Pau Gasol has made a name for himself with Pau’s former team, the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gasol put up 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in 2012-2013. Take all of that and couple it with the fact that he is known as one of the best interior defenders in the game, it is a pretty lethal combination. Whether it be passing, rebounding, scoring, protecting the rim, or slowing down other teams in their pick-and-roll situations, Gasol can do it all.
Tags: 2013 All-NBA Second Team 2013 All-NBA Teams 2013 NBA Awards Blake Griffin Carmelo Anthony Los Angeles Clippers Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker