The NBA announced the All-Defensive Teams today, and as expected, the Pistons were covered. Ben Wallace made the first team, joined by Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince on the second team. It's also worth noting that Rasheed Wallace received the most votes among those players that did not make the team. From NBA.com:
Four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons highlights the 2005-06 NBA All-Defensive Teams, the NBA announced today. Making his fifth consecutive appearance on the All-Defensive First Team, Wallace is joined by leading vote-getter Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs, named to the All-Defensive Team for the sixth consecutive season.
Also selected to the First Team are forwards Andrei Kirilenko of the Utah Jazz, making his third All-Defensive Team appearance, and 2003-04 Defensive Player of the Year Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings, named to the All-Defensive Team for the second time. Tying in votes received and rounding out the First Team are guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets, receiving their sixth and seventh All-Defensive honors, respectively.
The teams are voted on by all 30 NBA coaches, with each coach not eligible to vote for his own players. While I'm happy to see three Pistons recognized, I was surprised to see Bowen beat out Ben in the overall voting by one point -- both players received 26 first-place votes, but Bowen received three second-place votes to Ben's two. Too bad it's not an open ballot, because I'd really like to know what NBA coach out there doesn't think Ben is one of the league's top two defensive centers.
And in talking about the teams with Ian earlier today, we were both surprised to see Prince didn't garner more respect -- he had three first-team votes and seven second-team votes, giving him 13 points, the lowest out of all of the players recognized. Sure, there's nothing gained by being the leading vote-getter of the second-team, but it's a respect thing. The guy is a stopper, he makes highlight reel blocks and he routinely contains the opposing team's best player.
On a broader scale, why is a guy like Jason Kidd on the first-team and Gerald Wallace among the honorable mentions? And how did guys like Dwyane Wade (3), LeBron James (1) and Gilbert Arenas (1) garner even a single first-team vote? Were TV execs and Footlocker salesmen give votes, or NBA coaches? Some things just don't have answers.
(Thanks to DBB reader Joe for submitting the great picture above to the Detroit Bad Boys Flickr group.)