Thursday, April 26, 2012

All-NBA Teams for 2012

Building on the NBA awards theme this week, here are NBA Wired's All-NBA selections. Team results are deemphasized; each player's sustained level of play and health weigh heavily.

CP3 and RW get the All-NBA nod this season.
All-NBA First Team

Chris Paul
Russell Westbrook
LeBron James
Kevin Durant
Dwight Howard

James and Durant were no-brainers. Westbrook's career-best season and superior health allowed him to leapfrog a pair of legendary shooting guards, and CP3 reestablished himself as the league's top point guard. Howard had the worst season of his prime thus far, but he's still the best center in the game. It's hard to ignore 20.6 points and a league-high 14.5 rebounds per game.

All-NBA Second Team

Dwyane Wade
Kobe Bryant
Kevin Love
LaMarcus Aldridge
Andrew Bynum

Bryant had one of the greatest "16th seasons" in NBA history, but it was also one of his least efficient years. Wade's play was up and down, and he missed too many games. Thus, Wade and Bryant were knocked off the first team by Westbrook and Paul. Aldridge proved the second half of last season was no fluke, and Bynum proved he is an All-Star when his knees hold up. Love's 26 points and 13.3 rebounds on an improved Minnesota team were good enough to edge out last year's Finals MVP and this year's dunk machine.

Nash and Williams were stuck in bad situations this year.
All-NBA Third Team

Deron Williams
Steve Nash
Dirk Nowitzki
Blake Griffin
Kevin Garnett

Williams and Nash faced similar situations this year; Williams had no frontcourt to work with, and Nash had too little talent to compete against the talented Western Conference. After a sluggish start, Nowitzki improved and took on his usual load for Dallas. While Griffin didn't improve as much as he could have from last season, he did develop chemistry with Paul and had a solid season. KG's move to center allowed him to post his best scoring numbers in years, and he summoned the energy and passion to anchor a great defense in Boston.

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