lebron james

Miami Heat forward LeBron James, winner of the 2011-12 NBA Most Valuable Player Award, headlines the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced today. James totaled 53 points overall, including 24 First Team votes. He was the lone player to top 50 points.

Joining James on the NBA All-Defensive First Team are forward Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder (47 points), guards Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers (35 points) and Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies (33 points), and center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic (41 points). Ibaka and Allen earn First Team honors for the first time; Allen was an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection last season.

James led the Heat to a 46-20 mark and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. He paced the Heat in steals (1.9 spg) and defensive rebounds (6.4 drpg), and tied for the team lead in rebounds (7.9 rpg). With James leading the effort, Miami’s defense tied for fourth in opponent scoring (91.3 ppg), and ranked third in forced turnovers (16.6) and fifth in opponent field goal percentage (.434).

serge ibaka

Ibaka paced the league in blocks (3.65 bpg) while Paul led in steals (2.53 spg). Howard was the league’s leading rebounder (14.5 rpg) as well as its top defensive rebounder (10.8 drpg). The Grizzlies allowed 96.0 points per 100 possessions with Allen on the court compared to 101.7 points per 100 possessions with him off.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of guards Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, center Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, and forwards Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics.

Chandler had already won the Defensive Player of Year award. So why did he only get named to the second All-Defensive team? Because a group of media members, not the league’s coaches, vote for that award.

The voting panel for the all-defense squads consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.  Two points were awarded for a First Team vote and one point was awarded for a Second Team vote.