The 2019-20 All-NBA teams were unveiled by the league on Wednesday, which of course led to debate.
The 2020 NBA Playoffs are entering the final stretch, as the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat battle in the Eastern Conference Finals, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets prepare to face off for the right to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. But with no games scheduled on Wednesday, the NBA decided to unveil its All-NBA teams to keep the fans talking. And boy, did they ever.
Lakers star LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks were unanimously voted to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team. Rounding out that squad team were Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Lakers center Anthony Davis and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic. James has now been named to an All-NBA team for the 16th time, which is a new league record.
The Second Team was made up of LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. Meanwhile, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Rockets guard Russell Westbrook were named to the Third Team.
The voting tabulations can be seen in the tweet below. Voting was completed before the NBA’s restart in Orlando and was based on results through March 11, the day the league paused operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Plenty of debates about All-NBA voting
As is the case with any voting system, there’s always going to be room for debate and arguments. The same can be said for the All-NBA teams.
Siakam making the Second Team over Tatum is the first thing that stands out. Tatum had a higher scoring average (23.4 points per game) and 3-point percentage (40.3 percent) over Siakam (22.9 points per game, 35.9 percent). Either way, Tatum probably isn’t complaining, because this is his first All-NBA selection in his career. Additionally, Tatum is now the youngest player in Celtics history to be named to an All-NBA team.
Bucks forward Khris Middleton earned 82 total points from the writers, but it still wasn’t enough to qualify on the Third Team. This season, Middleton had a career year in Milwaukee as he averaged 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field. However, the votes went to Siakam, Tatum and Butler.
Despite Heat center Bam Adebayo’s great season, he had to compete against the likes of Gobert and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid. While Adebayo averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.3 blocks a night, he only received 26 Third Team votes. It’s important to note that Adebayo had a higher assists average than Gobert (1.5 per game) and Embiid (3.0 per game).
The limits based on position because of the designated center spot continue to frustrate, but these are the All-NBA teams, whether you agree with them or not.