Well, at least somebody appreciates the guy. Philadelphia 76ers' forward Andre Iguodala has been named to the 2011 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. The honor puts him in the company of Tony Allen (Memphis), Chris Paul (New Orleans), Tyson Chandler (Dallas) and Joakim Noah (Chicago) as one of the elite defenders in the game, according to a voting panel of all thirty NBA head coaches. Just sneaking on the list, Iguodala tied Noah for the fewest total points amongst those whom actually made the team. At the same time, he was so fortunate, and apparently talented, as to receive five bids for the First Team. Assuming we're giving the selection any weight, such an honor seems to imply that Andre Iguodala pales only in comparison to LeBron James as the best defensive small forward in the league.
Analysis, a tiny bit of recognition for Jrue Holiday, and the full list of the NBA All-Defensives after the jump…
Alright, is this list somewhat flawed? Yeah, probably. As our Sixers aficionado Andrew and I had the opportunity to briefly discuss, it's difficult to tell what kind of consideration actually goes into the voting. Indeed, it could be plausibly argued that certain members of this year's First Team have received the nod based more on a longstanding reputation, and less as a result of their play over the last 82 games of regular season ball. We see it as perfectly reasonable to treat subjective lists such as these with at least some skepticism.
Should Iggy have made the First Team? Should he have failed to make the list altogether? It's tough to say; but, the NBA coaches, who watch and prepare for all thirty teams every year, seem as qualified as any to make the pick.
The list's legitimacy aside, this will hopefully provide the Sixers a little extra leverage in any future attempt to deal Iguodala. In such a scenario, there's some good news, and some not so good news. First, the good—there are plenty of teams, including some just recently eliminated from the playoffs, who could use a lock down defender. While Sixers fans may lament his contract and inability to assume the role of a true #1, 'Dre's particular skill set could make him a wildly valuable commodity for other clubs.
The flip side, with the NBA headed for a lockout of its own, is that GMs will more than likely hold off any deals until a new CBA is in place. The nature of that agreement figures to drastically depart from the current model, and could make shipping a contract like Iguodala's a bit more complicated. While it could actually free front offices to make deals with a greater level of ease, it could likewise do the opposite. Consequently, Sixers fans may be in for more of the same waiting game when it comes to moving on from AI9.
Speaking of the future, Jrue Holiday has received a small bit of recognition himself. The second-year point guard exactly one vote in the All-Defensive balloting. It should be noted that coaches are banned from voting for their own players. So, there's at least one coach out there besides Doug Collins who digs Jrue's work on the defensive end.
You will find the complete list of the 2011 NBA All-Defensive First and Second teams below. You can also find the names of every player to receive at least one vote here. The Sixers' season might be over, but at least we had the opportunity to watch two of the league's best perimeter defenders body up on each other in round one.
2010-2011 NBA-All Defensive First Team
- Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
- Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
- LeBron James, Miami Heat
- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
- Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
2010-2011 NBA-All Defensive Second Team
- Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
- Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
- Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks
- Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers
- Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls