On Tuesday afternoon, the NBA announced the ten players who were named to the 2022-23 All-Defensive First and Second Teams.

Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. was named to the first team along with the two other finalists for the award in Brook Lopez and Evan Mobley. Jrue Holiday and Alex Caruso were the two guards joining the three big men listed above.

Derrick White, Draymond Green, O.G. Anunoby, Dillon Brooks and Bam Adebayo were voted to the All-Defensive Second Team this season.

There is no arguing that all of these players are terrific defensive talents, yet this year’s All-Defensive lists are very questionable in terms of those who were left out. This is a regular season honor, but it is interesting that only three of these players are still actively playing in the playoffs, all of which were voted to the second team in Green, White and Adebayo.

Great players are always going to be left off of lists like the All-Defensive teams the NBA puts out and this season, there are several snubs beginning with Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Davis only played in 56 regular season games due to injuries, which likely resulted in him only receiving nine total second team votes. In those games, Davis averaged 2.0 blocks and 1.1 steals per game and would have ranked inside the Top-10 in defensive rating if he played enough games to qualify in the league leaders category. The new rules requiring players to participate in a certain amount of games to qualify for awards does not go into effect until next season, so it is a little puzzling to see the Los Angeles Lakers big man receive such little recognition.

When he is on the floor, Anthony Davis is one of the best rim-protectors in the entire league and he is proving that in the playoffs right now. Through the Lakers’ first ten postseason games, Davis has compiled a league-high 37 blocks and has had just one game with less than two blocks.

As for Giannis Antetokounmpo, this will be the first time since 2018 that he has not been on one of the All-Defensive teams. For four consecutive years, Antetokounmpo has been a All-Defensive First Team performer and won the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year award, but now is all of a sudden no longer one of the ten-best defenders in the league?

He trailed just Jaren Jackson Jr. for the league-lead in defensive rating this season and Giannis even finished with more voting points than Dillon Brooks and Bam Adebayo for All-Defensive team honors! Having the ability to defend any player on the floor and altering his opponent’s shots over the course of the season, it is mind-blowing that the Bucks’ two-way star was left off this list.

Here are some of the other key names that ended up being snubs from this year’s All-Defensive teams.

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Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics

Just a season ago, Marcus Smart became the first guard to win the Defensive Player of the Year award since Gary Payton did so with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1996. He played in 61 games this season, ten less than a year ago, but Smart still averaged 1.5 steals per game for the fifth consecutive season and shared the same defensive rating as his teammate Derrick White, who made the All-Defensive Second Team. If Jrue Holiday is the best perimeter defender at the guard position in the league, Smart must be the second-best and there really is not much else to say.

He gives it his all every single position and unlike other players on this list, he is always diving on the ground for loose balls to put his team in a position to win. Just looking at numbers cannot paint the picture for who deserves to be on the All-Defensive list, as Marcus Smart does all the little things defensively that you have to actually watch the games to understand his impact. It seems like some of the voters don’t actually watch the games.

Jaden McDaniels – Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the regular season ranking as the tenth-best defensive team in the league and while Rudy Gobert was their best shot-blocker, Jaden McDaniels was their best all-around defender. In just his third season, McDaniels really took a big step forward in terms of being a defensive star on the wing and it is clear to see he is beginning to learn how to utilize his length to guard multiple positions.

McDaniels finished the year playing in a career-high 79 games and was constantly drawing the assignment of guarding his opponent’s best player. Only one player in the league tallied at least 75 blocks and 70 rebounds this season and that was Jaden McDaniels. He did receive 37 total votes, but it appears as if McDaniels playing for a smaller market team in Minnesota hurt his chances to be recognized.

Nic Claxton – Brooklyn Nets

Aside from Antetokounmpo and Davis, Nic Claxton may have been the biggest snub from the All-Defensive list this year simply because of the growth he exhibited as a rim-protector. Entering the year, Claxton was not viewed as an elite defender and there were question about if he could be a sustainable center for the Brooklyn Nets moving forward.

Well, Claxton delivered by improving his blocks per game average from 1.1 to 2.5, a near 127 percent increase from last season, and he finished tied with Jaren Jackson Jr. for second in total blocked shots. Metric-wise, Claxton finished sixth in the league in defensive rating and he led the league in “stocks,” which combines steals and blocks, with 254 stocks according to ClutchPoints’ own Erik Slater. If he was not the best defensive center this season, it is hard to say that Claxton was not the second-best defensive center.

Luguentz Dort – Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the main reason the Oklahoma City Thunder found themselves in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament this season, but Luguentz Dort continued to make an impact defensively for this young Thunder team. Dort is a very underrated athlete and one of the stronger perimeter defenders in this entire league.

Perhaps the biggest thing that sticks out about Dort’s game though is that he plays harder than anyone else and is willing to draw any assignment for all 48 minutes of a game. Guys like him who give the extra effort and impact winning do not come around every day, which is why the Thunder are lucky to have him. Plenty of All-Star talents have raved about Dort’s prowess on the defensive-end of the floor this season, which is why it is surprising he was left off the list. Maybe the voters just did not know how to spell Luguentz Dort when they were filling out their ballots?