Predicting the All-NBA teams

Every year at the end of the NBA season, sports broadcasters and the media are given the chance to vote on who they think are the best players at each position. Depending on how many votes a player gets, they could be declared first team, second team, or third team. Each team has two guards, two forwards, and one center. Here are my votes for the All-NBA first and second teams for the 2021-2022 season. 

All NBA First Team

Guard: Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks)

As an Atlanta fan, I will always regret not having Dončić on my team. His versatility and ability to be a field general on the court make him the best point guard in the league. He averaged a near triple-double this season and has carried a rather mediocre Dallas team with low expectations coming into the season to the four seed in the playoffs. Without Luka, the Mavs would be a .500 team at best. 

Guard: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)

No brainer here for a second guard spot on the first team. Booker has been the best player on the best team in the country for this entire season. Averaging 26.8 ppg and 4.8 apg, his numbers aren’t the best of them all, but his impact on the court for his team is unmatched. It is also worth noting that his defense has gotten tremendously better over the past couple of years, and now, Booker is not a defensive liability. 

Forward: Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

As a rookie, Tatum looked like a young, skinny, underdeveloped kid who should still be in high school. That being said, he showed great potential to be an all-NBA player one day during his tenure at Duke University. Celtics fans are finally getting to see the ceiling of the 2017 top draft pick. Tatum is an incredible scorer, averaging 26.9 ppg throughout the regular season, and has helped the Celtics become one of the best if not the best team in the East. Because of Tatum, the Celtics have jumped from a middle-of-the-pack team to one of the title contenders from the East.

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

The reigning finals MVP has shown no signs of stopping any this year. While averaging a double-double throughout the year, the Greek Freak has continued his dominance. Giannis’s season has just seemed so-so because we are so used to him outperforming expectations. With a good FT% and 3-point% in the playoffs, the Bucks could make a deep run and possibly contend for the finals. 

Center: Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

The debate over MVP has been between the two centers, the Joker and Embiid. In my opinion, I feel that Embiid has outperformed Nicola Jokić this entire season. Embiid, the scoring title winner of this year, has been dominating the other teams inside and out of the paint. While Jokić may lead Embiid in some advanced statistics, Embiid’s defensive prowess puts him just a tick ahead of Jokić in my rankings. Joel has also had to put all the Ben Simmons shenanigans behind him and really step in to be the number one on the 76ers this year.

All NBA Second Team

Guard: Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)

I was talking earlier about how I would love to have Luka as a Hawks fan. While that is true, there is no one else I would rather have than Trae Young. Given Trae’s size and stature, one would think he would struggle in the NBA, but that is far from the truth. Trae led the NBA in total points and total assists throughout the season and became the only player to do that in both college and the NBA. While the Hawks have been injury-ridden and may not be able to make a run in the playoffs, Young’s game single-handedly brought the Hawks to the playoffs. 

Guard: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

Ja Morant and the whole Grizzlies team has broken out of the bubble and exploded onto the scene this year. With his action-packed dunks as just one of his incredible qualities, Morant has lived up to the hype he received from Murray State three years ago. Memphis surprisingly put together a season where they finished second in the West and won over 55 games. While Morant’s injury set him back this year and maybe prevented him from 1st team honors, his ability to score still makes him one of the best players in the league. The last thing I would want as a center is for Ja to be coming at me full speed about to dunk on me. 

Forward: Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

The first forward of the second team has been great in the games he has played. Another player who would have made first team if he played more and didn’t get injured, Durant is a different breed of player. He battled through the Kyrie Irving and James Harden drama throughout the season and put up 30 ppg and seven apg. Durant, a perennial MVP contender, put up another incredible season and helped lead the Nets to a playoff berth. 

Forward: Demar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)

DeRozan has been one of the NBA’s breakout stars this year. While DeRozan was always an all-star level talent for the Spurs, this is really the first year people are talking about him as a possible MVP candidate. Feasting mainly from his mid-range shot, Derozan has had the best season of his career, averaging nearly 28 ppg. If the Bulls could knock off the Bucks in the first round, DeRozan could become a Bulls legend and cement his legacy. 

Center: Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)

While earlier it seemed I may have been dissing Jokić a lot in favor of Embiid, it is important to realize that Nikola was the MVP last year and has been one of the best players in the league again this year. In a year when the Nuggets were plagued by injuries to both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. it is extremely impressive that the Nuggets were able to make the playoffs as a six seed. Jokić has averaged close to a triple-double this year, which for a big man is unheard of. If Jokić could be placed on the first team with Embiid, I would do that, but that is just unrealistic. Jokić should finish either first or second in the MVP voting this year and has been one of the best players, not just big men, this season.