For the second year in a row, the Milwaukee Bucks have multiple team members who landed on the All-NBA Defensive teams. This year, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday who took home the honors, both landing with First Team slots.
2020-21 NBA All-Defensive teams:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 14, 2021
First team: Rudy Gobert, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday
Second team: Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, Kawhi Leonard
Of course, last year Milwaukee was able to get three with Brook Lopez snagging a Second Team selection. I can’t say I quibble too much with not including Brook this year, although his rim protection swung around a decent amount in the second half of the season. Given that Bud’s team generally regressed defensively from world beaters during the regular season to hovering around top ten, it’s not a surprise.
I am genuinely surprised that both Giannis and Jrue were able to get on the first team. Obviously they’re both outstanding defenders, but it’s still a tip of the hat to them they were able to secure those spots despite Milwaukee falling back a bit from the pack this season. I’m excited for Holiday though, who clearly takes pride in how he’s able to make opposing players’ life hell, and that’s shone through this entire year. While I didn’t think Giannis was quite the same impact defender as he was last season, I have a feeling he’ll get selected All-Defense for the foreseeable future. And, to his credit, he is still supremely impactful at the rim and able to make plays that would be impossible to others.
Kudos to them both for the accolades, hopefully that gives them a little boost to torture the Nets defensively and take home Game Five.