The NBA has recently released the NBA First, Second, and Third Team. With the announcement, there are surprises, expected results, and many different feelings of emotions.
Starting with the first team (Chris Paul, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Joakim Noah), I believe most people were relatively content with the results.
Chris Paul is known around the NBA as the best point guard in the league, with exceptions in some areas of America. Paul averaged 19 PPG, 11 APG, and 2.5 SPG, as he led the league in assists and steals. James Harden is becoming known as, if he has not already set in stone, as the best shooting guard in the league. Harden led a Rockets team to the 4 seed in the west, and averaged great numbers (25 PPG, 6 APG, 5 TRB). Some people could make a case for Stephen Curry, but Harden averaged more points, only 2 less assists, and led the Rockets to a higher seed in the playoffs.
With the big men, Kevin Durant and Lebron James are obvious choices. Lebron James is the best player in the NBA, and is a member of some people's ALL TIME Mount Rushmore. Durant is the best scorer in the league, and has just won the MVP, so like Lebron, both were expected choices.
Finally, Joakim Noah is very debatable. Dwight Howard averages more points, rebounds, and is more talented, but Noah has more heart, defense, and passing skills. Noah averaged 6 assists per game, is a member of the All-NBA's defensive first team, and showed unbelievable heart. I probably would have put Howard over Noah, but both showed great play throughout the season.
Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard are members of the All-NBA second team. Curry is a great guard, and since last years playoffs, has made a name for himself. With the injury of great guards (Rose, Rondo, Westbrook), Curry (24 PPG, 9 TRB) he was almost a solid pick for first or second team. Tony Parker, at the age of 32, headlines the second team, as some people would put Damian Lillard above him. Parker only averaged 16 PPG and 6 APG, but averaged 20 and 7 per 36 minutes. Plus, Parker led the Spurs to the best record in the NBA. Overall, I believe Parker was the right pick, but with Lillard playing great this season, it is quite disputable.
Blake Griffin was a solid pick for first or second team, as he stepped up this season while Paul was injured for a portion of the season. There were even talks of Griffin for MVP, but every reasonable human on Earth knew that was ridiculous. Still, just having talks for MVP is pretty remarkable. Griffin was a great pick for the second team, as Lebron and Durant hold the two forward spots. Kevin Love was uncertain for second team, as Lamarcus Aldridge started the season great and the Blazers once held the best record in the league. The stats point towards Kevin Love (26 PPG, 13 TRB, while Aldridge averages 23 PPG and 11 TRB), but Aldridge led the Blazers to the 5th seed in the west, as Love and the Wolves had the 10th seed. In my opinion, I believe Aldridge stepped up his game more and was able to lead the Blazers farther in the playoffs, and Aldridge deserved the second team. Dwight Howard was a relatively easy pick for either first or second team, and since he did not make the first, he had to be second.
With the third team, there are some new-comers in Al Jefferson, Goran Dragic, and Damian Lillard. With the lack of great big men in the league, and Jefferson averaging 21 and 11 (4 more points and one more rebound than last year) and leading the Bobcats to the 7 seed, he was a lock for the pick. Damian Lillard played great this season, and was a good pick for the third team as Westbrook, Rondo, and Rose were injured for a large portion of the season. Lillard followed up his great ROY season with 20 PPG and 6 APG. Goran Dragic was a surprise to me, as I might not have put him in a fourth team (If there was one). However, looking back at the stats, I now would put Dragic above his teammate Bledsoe (Dragic averages more assists, points, and minutes), and actually above John Wall. I believe John Wall has become the best point guard in the east, but Dragic is playing just as great (With better numbers of 20 PPG and 6 APG) in a tougher western conference.
Paul George and Lamarcus Aldridge are second time choices of All-NBA teams, and both are great players. Aldridge is one of the best power forwards in the NBA, and could have been placed in the second team. With his great play stepping up this year, and making a statement at the beginning (Blazers best record in NBA) and end (playoffs), he is definitely a member of the All-NBA Team. Paul George's selection, on the other hand, is very controversial. Carmelo Anthony was left off all three teams after being a 6 time member of the All-NBA team, while George over passed him for the last spot. I truly think this was a mistake by the voters, as I believe Melo is a better player. Carmelo averaged 27 PPG, 8 TRB, and 3 APG, but could not win with his average teammates and average, now fired coach. George averaged 21 PPG, 7 TRB, and 3 APG but could win with a team full of much more talented players. I think George is a great player, but he would not have done any better than Melo with the Knicks this past season. With that said, Carmelo is the better player and is being over-looked because of his terrible team.
Those are my opinions, but I'm curious about how you feel. Do you think Joakim Noah deserves to be first team? Does Tony Parker belong over Damian Lillard? Kevin Love above Lamarcus Aldridge? Goran Dragic over Bledsoe and Wall? Paul George over Carmelo? Are you happy with this years All-NBA Team selection? Share your opinions in the comment section below.