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All-Defensive: Nic Claxton, Mikal Bridges get votes but don’t get selected

The Nets top two defenders finished third and sixth in All-Defensive voting.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking for consolation after learning Nic Claxton and Mikal Bridges didn’t make the All-Defensive team, here it is: Voters think Claxton was the third best defensive center in the NBA last year at age 24 and Bridges was the sixth best defensive guard at 26. If you’re trying to build a defensive identity, that’s a great start.

Both players got plenty of votes for the two-team lineup but neither got enough to make first or second team. Players are voted by their predominant position during the season...

Claxton had been hopeful he’d get selected and his stats certainly justified it. He was second in blocks (189), blocks per game (2.5), and “stocks,” aka steals and blocks (247) as well as finishing third in “stocks” per game (3.28). He was also one of only two players to register 150 blocks and 50 steals. As NBA University tweeted…

And to top it off, he became the first player in NBA history to average better than 10 points a game, 2.5 blocks and shoot better than 70.0% in a season.

Claxton finished with 25 votes, all for the second team, well behind Bam Adebayo of the Heat who had 53 and was named second team center. Brook Lopez of the Bucks finished with 181 to take first team honors. Among guards, Bridges finished sixth among guards with 33 votes just behind Marcus Smart of the Celtics, the 2021-22 DPOY, who had 35. The first team guards were Jrue Holiday of the Bucks (192) and Alex Caruso (125) of the Bulls while Derrick White of the Celtics (99) and Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies (54) made the second.

Among those who finished behind Claxton was Joel Embiid of the 76ers while Bridges bested Jimmy Butler of the Heat. Claxton had finished 10th in Defensive Player of the Year balloting while Bridges, who was runner-up in DPoY balloting in 2021-22, didn’t receive any votes this time around. Bobby Marks suggested that Bridges newfound offensive role with the Nets could have obscured his defensive role...

Marks also pointed out that if the new CBA had been in effect, Jaren Jackson Jr. wouldn’t have qualified for either All-Defensive team or DPoY which he won this season. Jackson played in only 63 games. The new CBA sets a floor of 65 games for post-season awards.

Only Jason Kidd (seven times) and Buck Williams (once) have been named to All-Defensive teams while with the Nets.