It’s that time of year again! The regular season has come to a close, playoff matchups are set, and individual awards are about to start pouring in for the league’s elite. For more on our other All-NBA teams and honorable mentions, check out our other releases below!
All-NBA First Team
G | Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
Despite putting up one of the lowest 3-point shooting seasons of his career, Stephen Curry still led the NBA in 3-pointers made while leading his Warriors to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. He averaged 25.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game. This is Curry’s fifth consecutive season averaging five or more rebounds per game, a notable feat for an offensive-minded point guard.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Curry’s season is his ability to lead the Warriors to a top three seed despite constant roster movement. Nearly every team dealt with injuries (and COVID restrictions) this season, but Curry faced the majority of his schedule without Klay Thompson or Draymond Green in the lineup. Andrew Wiggins earned his first All-Star nod and Jordan Poole made his case for the MIP award, but the Warriors don’t get to where they are without Curry.
G | Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks
Doncic, age 22, turned in his third consecutive All-Star worthy season this year, averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game – perhaps the closest anyone has come to a triple-double average since Russell Westbrook’s prime in Oklahoma City. Doncic also set new career highs in steals per game (1.2) and 3-point efficiency (.353) in his fourth NBA season.
Doncic is one of the few “lonely” stars in the NBA today, meaning that he doesn’t have anyone else on his team even pushing for All-Star contention – especially after Kristaps Porzingis was traded to Washington earlier this season. Regardless of circumstance, Doncic has propelled his Mavericks back into the playoff push, landing at No. 4 out West ahead of perennial playoff threats like the Jazz, Nuggets, and Clippers.
F | Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
The reigning Finals MVP spoiled Milwaukee – and NBA – fans with another superstar season. The “Greek Freak,” as he is so affectionately called, quietly had one of the best seasons of his young career, averaging 29.9 points (career-high), 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals while hitting nearly 30% of his 3-point attempts.
How did he go about doing this quietly? Because fans have become accustomed to the outrageous stat lines that Antetokounmpo produces on a nightly basis. He played the biggest role in keeping the Bucks at the top of the Eastern Conference all season, landing at the No. 3 seed in the upcoming playoffs. Antetokounmpo continues to improve and tweak his game to perfect his offensive attack from all angles. Not to mention he’s the favorite to bring home his second Defensive Player of the Year award in the last three seasons.
F | Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid became the first center to win the NBA scoring title since Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season. The 76ers’ superstar averaged career highs in points (30.6), assists (4.2), and steals (1.1) per game to go along with 11.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. These are MVP-caliber numbers and likely would guarantee Embiid the award in most seasons.
He led the 76ers to a 51-31 record, good for the No. 4 seed in the East, despite dealing with the drama attached to former All-Star teammate Ben Simmons for the first part of the season. Once the Sixers traded for All-Star guard, James Harden, Embiid’s numbers jumped up to 32.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game on 50% FG, 36% 3P, and 82% FT shooting splits. Not only did Embiid not take a backseat to Harden, he took a step forward and got even better.
F | Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets
Joel Embiid’s stats would win him the MVP without contest in most seasons, but Nikola Jokic seems to have other plans. The MVP-favorite led his Nuggets to the No. 6 seed in the West without his second or third best players for much of the season in Jamal Murray (0 games played) and Michael Porter Jr. (9 GP).
Following an MVP-winning season, Jokic put up career highs nearly across the board to top himself, including 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game to go along with his second-highest assist total ever at 7.9 per game. He shot nearly 34% from long range, 58% from the field as a whole, and single-handedly willed his team into the postseason with unreal consistency and production all season long.
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