We interrupt the doom and gloom of the end of the Los Angeles Clippers 2014-2015 season, as the National Basketball Association named their All-Defensive teams. For the first time in four seasons, a team placed multiple members on the All-Defensive First Team. Surprisingly, that team was the Clippers.
Point guard Chris Paul made the first team for the fourth season in a row, and he was joined this year by center DeAndre Jordan, who became the second player in franchise history to make an NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team.
This announcement sure beats the gossip being passed around involving Paul and 2015 free agent Jordan.
Paul played in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his ten-year career, ranking second in the NBA in total steals (156, 1.9 per game) and fifth amongst point guards in total defensive rebounds (324, 4.0 per game).
Jordan, who has been caught in between his head coach’s DPOY campaigning and the #WellActually consequences that went with it, led the league in total rebounds (1,226) and rebounds per game (15.0). Jordan also blocked 183 shots (2.2 per game), ranking third in the NBA, while ranking third in total steals amongst centers with 81 (behind Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins).
The Clippers were the 35th NBA team to place multiple players on the NBA All-Defensive First Team; in fact, the only other team to place multiple players on the first team since 2007-2008 were the Doc Rivers-coached 2010-2011 Boston Celtics (Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo). But while those Celtics were the 2nd-best defense in the NBA, the 2014-2015 Clippers ranked 15th for the season. As Dan Feldman noted, the only team to place multiple players on an NBA All-Defensive First Team that was worse defensively than Los Angeles this past season were the 1992-1993 Detroit Pistons.
In fact, out of all 2-man lineups that played at least 2,000 minutes together this past season, Paul and Jordan ranked 11th out of 14. That includes fourth out of five Clippers lineups:
But I digress. Paul and Jordan were rewarded here for their outstanding individual achievements defensively, despite the defensive performance of the Clippers team being decidedly less impressive.
Paul and Jordan were joined on the First Team by San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (the 2014-2015 NBA Defensive Player of the Year), Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green, and Memphis Grizzlies small forward/guard Tony Allen.
The 2014-2015 All-Defensive Second Team was made up of New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis, Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler, Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, and San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan. Interestingly enough, Blake Griffin got a vote for the second team.
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