Predicting the unpredictable 2023–2024 NBA All-Defensive Teams

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Who the 2024 All-Defensive Second Team should be:

Derrick White - Boston Celtics

We’ve seen the names Jaylen Brown and Jrue Holiday mentioned as players who missed the cut for the All-NBA Second Team, but it would be criminal to not include a single Celtic. Derrick White has been stupendously good this year in his defensive role in Boston, as they’ve cruised to the 2nd ranked defense in the league.

He is averaging a jaw-dropping 1.2 blocks per game as a guard, which has not been done since Dwayne Wade in the 2011–2012- season. While the All-Star buzz for White might have been a bit outlandish, him making his second All-Defensive team this year is completely fair.

Jaden McDaniels - Minnesota Timberwolves

Here we have another teammate with an honorable mention for All-Defensive Second Team, Jaden McDaniels. Oftentimes, defenses are built around an interior anchor, such as Rudy Gobert. The Timberwolves are lucky enough to also have an exterior defensive anchor in McDaniels.

He has the versatility and size to defend the 1-4 positions and has made the lives of opposing guards and wings complete mayhem this season. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t punch a wall right before the playoffs this year.

Aaron Gordon - Denver Nuggets

Say hello to one of the most underrated defenders in the NBA, Aaron Gordon. We just praised Jaden McDaniels for being able to defend 1-4. Gordon is one of the few players in the NBA who actively defends guards, forwards, and centers. Come playoff time, he even becomes the Nuggets designated backup center.

Since the All-Star Break, he is responsible for the lowest defended FG% in the entire NBA (min. 200 shots defended) at an insane 38.6%. He might not have the reputation or star status to make this team in real life, but boy does he deserve it.

Anthony Davis - Los Angeles Lakers

For the first time since the 2019–2020 season, Anthony Davis is healthy enough to make the All-Defensive Team. Much like he usually is while actually on the court, he has been dominant on defense. Davis is 2nd in the league at 2.4 blocks per game, and also averages 1.2 steals per game.

He has helped cover for a lot of the below-average defensive players that the Lakers start, such as Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince, and Rui Hachimura. Without Davis, LAL would likely be a bottom-5 defense in the NBA.

Victor Wembanyama - San Antonio Spurs

Anthony Davis is 2nd in the NBA in blocks per game, but who ranks 1st? That would be the rookie phenom, Victor Wembanyama. Not only does he lead the league, but it isn’t even close, as he averages 3.5 swats per contest. He has recorded 7+ blocks in six games already in his young career. So why isn’t he on the All-Defensive First Team?

Well, he was the primary defender on a team that allowed Joel Embiid to score 70 points. At times this season, he has been bullied by bulkier centers and occasionally will look a bit lost on the floor. This might be the only time he isn’t on the All-Defensive First Team for the next decade.

Now for the five players, ignoring reputation and star status, that make up the All-Defensive First Team for the 2023-2024 season: