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NBA All-Defensive Team headlined by Rudy Gobert, Ben Simmons

Apr 13, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Moses Brown (9) and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) battle for the rebound in the third quartet at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no surprise that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers headlined the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive Team picks.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that those two were joined by Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) as well as Milwaukee Bucks teammates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday in earning first-team honors.

NBA All-Defensive Team honors for the second unit include Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat as well as Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.

As the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert’s inclusion in the first team was a given. Meanwhile, both Simmons and Green were finalists for the top individual defensive award around the Association.

We are intrigued to learn that second-year Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle earned second team honors. He averaged a mere 20 minutes per game during the regular season. However, the former Washington Huskies star was a defensive stopper throughout the season.

All said, three members of the Philadelphia 76ers were awarded spots on the NBA All-Defensive Team this season. For Joel Embiid, this caps off a regular season in which he was also a finalist for the NBA MVP award, which ended up going to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

Full NBA All-Defensive Team rosters

  • First team: Rudy Gobert, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday
  • Second team: Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, Kawhi Leonard

Notes

NBA All-Defensive Team, 2020-21
© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • This represents Rudy Gobert’s fifth time being honored as an NBA All-Defensive Team performer.
  • Some thought that Draymond Green might earn DPOY. He’ll have to settle for his sixth appearance here.
  • Kawhi Leonard has now earned seven NBA All-Defensive Team honors.
  • Meanwhile, Ben Simmons earns the honors for the second consecutive season.