NEW YORK -- Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team.
The three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award finished with nearly identical point totals as the top vote-getters for the NBA All-Defensive Teams.
Gobert earned 196 points, including 97 First Team votes, to make the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the third consecutive year. George received 195 points (96 First Team votes) for his second All-Defensive First Team honor. With 193 points (94 First Team votes), Antetokounmpo is a First Team selection for the first time.
The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team also features Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (145 points; 63 First Team votes) and Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (100 points; 36 First Team votes). Smart and Bledsoe are both first-time selections to an NBA All-Defensive Team.
The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday (90 points), Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (82), Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (80), Warriors forward Draymond Green (61) and Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (39). This is the first NBA All-Defensive Team selection for Thompson, a five-time NBA All-Star.
The winner of the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award will be revealed at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The third annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.
Gobert is seeking to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second straight season. In addition to vying with Gobert for Defensive Player of the Year, George and Antetokounmpo join Houston Rockets guard James Harden as the finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
The NBA All-Defensive Teams were selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.