Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo highlighted the 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive teams, which were announced on Friday night.
Smart, the league’s 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year, earned his third first-team nod. He was joined at the guard spot by Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns, who earned his first career All-Defensive team nod. Smart and Bridges were the top two vote-getters.
Antetokounmpo picked up his fifth All-Defensive team award and his fourth first-team selection. Since All-Defensive Teams were first announced in 1968-69, the only other players with four first-team selections and multiple MVPs are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tim Duncan.
Antetokounmpo was joined at the forward spot by Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. who, like Bridges, earned his first selection.
Gobert, who had won three of the last four Defensive Player of the Year awards, earned his sixth consecutive selection. That breaks a tie with Hakeem Olajuwon and Abdul-Jabbar for the most consecutive first-team honors for a center.
The second team was Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Boston’s Robert Williams III.
With Smart and Williams making the team, it’s the first time Boston has had multiple players on the All-Defensive Team since Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett made the squad in 2011-12.
The Celtics had six players end up with a vote as Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford all picked up a first-team vote. Celtics reserve guard Derrick White, acquired at the trade deadline from the San Antonio Spurs, received three second-team votes.
Holiday’s selection, his fourth overall, earned him a $120,000 bonus.
It was Green’s seventh selection to the team, and he did so playing in just 46 games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, only Andrei Kirilenko (41 in 2004-05) and Scottie Pippen (44 in 1997-98) made the All-Defensive team playing in fewer games.
Adebayo made his third career All-Defensive team (all second teams) while it was Thybulle’s second and Williams’ first.
Rookies Evan Mobley of Cleveland and Herb Jones of New Orleans were the fifth and sixth-place vote-getters for forwards. They missed out on becoming the first rookies to make the All-Defensive team since Tim Duncan did so in 1997-98.