There’s a very strong argument that Anthony Davis has been the best player in the playoffs, an argument that is based on his otherworldly displays defensively. Unfortunately for him, though, he’s apparently not one of the league’s 10 best defenders this year.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NBA announced it’s All-Defense teams with neither the First Team nor Second Team featuring Davis.
2022-23 NBA All-Defensive teams:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 9, 2023
First team: Jaren Jackson Jr., Brook Lopez, Alex Caruso, Evan Mobley, Jrue Holiday
Second team: Bam Adebayo, OG Anunoby, Dillon Brooks, Draymond Green, Derrick White
In fact, when looking at the full voting released by the NBA, Davis wasn’t even close to making an All-Defense team. For one, he was listed as a forward on ballots despite not playing a single second there this season. For two, he received a total of nine votes, all for the Second Team.
All the qualifiers of minutes or games played can be thrown out of the window as well, because Jaren Jackson Jr. is on these lists and Davis played more minutes than him this season. And even if AD wasn’t at the level he’s been defensively in the playoffs, he was still fantastic in the regular season when on the court.
There’s also the hilarious optics that, of the 10 people selected for the two teams, three of them have played in a series against Anthony Davis and have been dwarfed by his dominance. Davis dropped 30 points and 23 rebounds against Draymond Green in Game 1 right, after he had separate games of 31 points and 19 rebounds and 31 points and 17 rebounds against Jaren Jackson Jr.
Meanwhile, outside of JJJ in Game 1 of his series, neither of those guys have been important factors offensively thanks to Davis. A truly silly result that was as predictable as it was dumb.
The league’s new guidelines for regular season awards might change how much we even see star players in contention for these awards moving forward, but that wasn’t in effect this year — and Davis, the best defender in the world right now, was pretty egregiously snubbed on this one.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.