Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Memphis Grizzles forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges make up this year’s Kia NBA All-Defensive 1st Team.
Marcus Smart and Mikal Bridges finished in the top two vote-getters for defensive player of the year. Smart was the first guard to win defensive player of the year since Gary Payton in 1996. Smart received his third-nod for 1st team defensive in his career while Bridges gets his first.
Antetokounmpo picked up his fifth All-Defensive team award and his fourth first-team selection. Since All-Defensive Teams were first announced in 1968-69, the only other players with four first-team selections and multiple MVPs are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tim Duncan.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Rudy Gobert were the best defensive big man this season. Jackson Jr. set a new Grizzles franchise block record with 177 blocks. Gobert, who had won three of the last four Defensive Player of the Year awards, earned his sixth consecutive selection.
The 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive 2nd Team consists of Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle, Celtics center Robert Williams III and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.