NO one is happy that we have to wait until June to find out this season’s award winners. We were given a small reprieve though with the NBA announcing that not only will the finalists for those awards be announced this week, but we also will find out the recipients of the All-NBA, All- Defensive and All-Rookie teams. With plenty on the line contractually and for players ego’s here are my picks for each bracket.

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ALL ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

G: Yogi Ferrell, Dallas Mavericks
G: Isaiah Whitehead, Brooklyn Nets
F: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
F: Marquese Chriss, Phoenix Suns
C: Willy Hernangomez, New York Knicks

ALL ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

G: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
G: Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks
G: Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
F: Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers
C: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

THIS years draft class was both underwhelming and captivating at the same time. The storylines of players like Malcolm Brogdon, Yogi Ferrell and of course the illustrious Joel Embiid provided us with plenty of entertainment for the length of the season. The only problem though is that they aren’t being paid to create stories, they are being payed to play basketball. The future isn’t all bleak for this rookie crop though headlined by 76ers duo Dario Saric and Joel Embiid who will probably finish one and two in the Rookie of the Year voting. Malcolm Brogdon might have something to say about it though after a respectable rookie year. Due to the fact that positions are irrelevant in the All-Rookie teams two guards in Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray (both of whom have similar games and style) round out the first team. The second team consisted of guys who sporadically had good moments throughout their first pro season, but struggled with consistency. Some of the unlucky players to miss out include Brandon Ingram, Caris LaVert and Tyler Ulis.

Predicting The All-NBA, All-Defensive & All- Rookie Teams 1Image from sportingnews.com

ALL DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM

G: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
G: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
F: Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

ALL DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM

G: John Wall, Washington Wizards
G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
F: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
C: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

ALL of my ten defensive dudes deserve their place on this list. Imagine seeing each player guard a player of their respective position one on one. You’d feel much safer with those players hassling the opponent over anyone else at the position. The first three players on the 2nd team are yet to breakout offensively, but that doesn’t impact their dominance on the defensive side of the ball. Antetokounmpo was reward for a career year, where he nearly ranked in top 10 for both blocks and steals and Anthony Davis is, well, Anthony Davis. Wall and Paul are arguably the best defensive guards in the NBA and had stellar season that saw them rank 2nd and 3rd for steals per game respectively. The frontcourt trio is likely to finish 1/2/3 in the Defensive player of the Year award and while I want Kawhi to so desperately claim a third straight gong, I think Dray has the edge this year. Unfortunately Miami Heat big man stud Hassan Whiteside was the first one left out with Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert ahead of him defensively this year. Guards Danny Green and Marcus Smart are also unlucky ones not to make the list.

ALL NBA THIRD TEAM

G: John Wall, Washington Wizards
G: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
F: Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
F: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
C: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

JOHN Wall has to earn a spot in one of the All-NBA teams after his career year leading the Wizards to their best record on decades. The 2nd guard spot was the hardest one to fill. Chris Paul missed too much time, Kyle Lowry didn’t dominate the way the others in contention did and of course Damian Lillard continues the trend of being the last player left off of a list. That give the nod to DeRozan who proved that you can average 27 a night by playing like it’s 1960 and the three point shot doesn’t exist. Hayward earns the edge over guys Jimmy Butler and Paul George thanks to his consistent career year over the entire season. It’s a shame that he will be donning Celtic green come October alongside Isaiah Thomas and Markelle Fultz. Perhaps the most exciting and captivating player this season was the ‘Serbian Sensation’ who at times looked like Magic Johnson stuck in a goofy seven foot white guy’s body. Putting up close to 20/10/5 isn’t something to sneeze at, Jokic is legit.

ALL NBA SECOND TEAM

G: Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors
G: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
F: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

WE live in a world were two guards who put up close to 25pts and 6asts each night are the 3rd and 4th best guards for the season. It was always going to be tough for Steph to re-capture the form of last year’s stupid good season, especially with Durant joining the squad and I don’t think anyone saw the dominance of IT make him a fringe MVP candidate and lead the Celtics to the best record in the East. Dray helped keep the Warriors looking like the Warriors once Durant went down and is now probably the most versatile defensive player in the entire league. Top 20 in total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks had never been done before Giannis did it this year. The skies the limit for Antetokounmpo who has the talent to genuinely challenge for an MVP award as early as next season. Davis would be in the first team if it wasn’t for his teams shortcomings. I know it might be unfair, but at the end of the day if you are one of the 10 best players in the league you need to be leading your guys to the postseason. Once they acquired DeMarcus Cousins at the deadline everyone expected the playoffs to be a formality. Instead Ant Davis and the Pels will once again have to wait for next year.

Predicting The All-NBA, All-Defensive & All- Rookie Teams 2Image from sfgate.com

ALL NBA FIRST TEAM

G: Russell Westbrook
G: James Harden
F: Lebron James
F: Kawhi Leonard
C: Rudy Gobert

EVERYONE’S first team should look relatively the same. The MVP candidates share the backcourt honours while the 3rd and 4th placed vote getters fill out the forwards. At first glance I stashed the Greek Freak at center, but on second thought Gobert earned his place. Gobert and Davis also switched back and forth on my list multiple times, but I settled on rewarding Gobert for elevating his game to another level ultimately helping the Jazz achieve more success. Players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George missed out on making the list despite leading their teams to fringe playoff records. Many wonder if we have seen the pair don their teams colours for the last time. Inferior records, injuries, lack of consistency or just flat out better players at their position this year kept out household names like Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Damian Lillard and DeAndre Jordan.

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