Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama lead NBA’s All-Defensive teams

Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama lead NBA’s All-Defensive teams

Jason Owens

The NBA announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2023-24 season on Tuesday, with Minnesota Timberwolves center and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert leading the way as the only unanimous selection.

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, New Orleans Pelicans forward Herb Jones and Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis join Gobert on the first team.

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs, Boston Celtics guard Derrick White, Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels and Celtics guard Jrue Holiday are second-team selections.

The selection is the seventh for Gobert, who also tied the NBA record with his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Gobert anchored the Timberwolves’ top-ranked defense this season while averaging 14 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game. Minnesota just eliminated the reigning champion Denver Nuggets from the postseason to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Rudy Gobert, right, and Victor Wembanyama lead an NBA All-Defensive team heavy on post players. (David Berding/Getty Images)

Rudy Gobert, right, and Victor Wembanyama lead an NBA All-Defensive team heavy on post players. (David Berding/Getty Images)

The selection adds to an honor-filled rookie campaign for Wembanyama, who was also a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year alongside Gobert and Adebayo. He earned unanimous Rookie of the Year honors and was a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie team announced Monday. Wembanyama led the league in blocks with 3.6 per game.

After consecutive seasons as a second-team All-Defensive selection, Adebayo is a first-team selection for the first time. The selection is the first for Jones in his three seasons as a defensive stopper in New Orleans. The selection is the fifth for Davis.

The Timberwolves and Celtics placed two players each on All-Defensive teams. McDaniels joins Gobert from the second team, while White and Holiday anchor an All-Defensive backcourt in Boston. Both teams have advanced to the NBA’s conference finals. The selection is the sixth for Holiday, who’s been named to the first team three times.

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