The National Basketball Association named their All-Defensive Teams for the 2015-2016 season. For the second straight season, the Los Angeles Clippers placed two players on the All-Defensive First Team.
Point guard Chris Paul made the First Team for the fifth season in a row, and he was once again joined by center DeAndre Jordan. Paul and Jordan are the only Clippers in franchise history (since 1970) to make either the NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team.
Paul had 152 total steals this season, T-6th most in the NBA. His 2.1 steals per game ranked 3rd. The only players in NBA history with more than Paul’s nine seasons of at least 150 steals are Maurice Cheeks (10) and Hall-of-Famer John Stockton (12).
Jordan averaged 2.3 blocks per game (2nd in NBA), a career-high 10.3 defensive rebounds per game (1st in NBA), and 13.8 total rebounds per game (2nd in NBA). Only Detroit Pistons C Andre Drummond had more than Jordan’s 1,059 total rebounds, while only Miami Heat C Hassan Whiteside had more than Jordan’s 177 blocked shots. This was Jordan’s third straight season of at least 1,000 rebounds and 175 blocked shots, something that only Ben Wallace (2000-2004) and Houston Rockets C Dwight Howard (2007-2011) can lay claim to. In fact, only Wallace, Howard, and Hall-of-Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dikembe Mutombo have more seasons (4 each) of at least 1,000 rebounds and 175 blocked shots in a career than Jordan (3).
The Clippers duo of Paul and Jordan is the 12th in NBA history to be named to consecutive All-Defensive First Teams; the only other duo to do it since 1998 was San Antonio Spurs PF Tim Duncan and SF Bruce Bowen in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. The Clippers defense ranked only 15th in the NBA in 2014-2015 with Paul and Jordan on the First Team, but in 2015-2016, the Clippers finished T-4th, the best finish in franchise history. Only the Atlanta Hawks (2nd-best defense in the NBA) allowed a lower opponent field goal percentage than the Clippers’ 43.4 percent, the lowest mark in franchise history.
Paul and Jordan were better on the court together defensively as well. In 2014-2015, Paul and Jordan’s defensive efficiency rating of 102.4 ranked 11th out of 14 in the NBA among all 2-man lineups that played at least 2,000 minutes together (including fourth out of five Clippers lineups). In 2015-2016, Paul and Jordan’s defensive efficiency rating improved to 100.0 points per 100 possessions allowed, ranking 5th out of 19 NBA 2-man lineups that played at least 2,000 minutes together.
Paul and Jordan were joined on the First Team by San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (the 2015-2016 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and unanimous First Team selection), Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green, and Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley.
The 2015-2016 All-Defensive Second Team was made up of Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap, Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen, and Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler. Clippers analyst Michael Smith gave Clippers small forward Luc Mbah a Moute a Second Team vote; once Mbah a Moute entered the starting lineup on November 29, the Clippers went from allowing 103.0 points per 100 possessions through the first month of the season (19th in NBA) to allowing 100.4 points per 100 possessions the rest of the season (3rd-best in NBA).