Less than one week ago, the NBA announced that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the winner of his third Defensive Player of the Year award. While Gobert was a comfortable leader in the final voting tally, the runner-up was Philadelphia 76ers do-it-all standout Ben Simmons, who netted 15 first-place votes and dominated the No. 2 slot on the majority of ballots. On Monday evening, Gobert and Simmons were once again recognized for their defensive excellence, as both were unanimous selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team for the 2020-21 season.
Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons both received NBA All-Defensive First Team votes on all 100 ballots.
The full voting results for the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive Team are below.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 14, 2021
Gobert and Simmons were always going to be selected to the first team, and they were joined by Golden State’s Draymond Green and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo at forward, as well as Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday to round out the backcourt. In the 2020-21 installment, none of the voting results revealed razor-thin margins between the first and second team, though Miami’s Bam Adebayo was the closest to cracking the top five when compared to Antetokounmpo.
Adebayo was joined by teammate Jimmy Butler, listed at guard, as well as Kawhi Leonard on the second team. From there, a pair of Simmons’ teammates, Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle made the final cut.
Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges, Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner and Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela were the closest vote-getters that did not reach the top ten.
Others receiving votes for All-Defensive teams: pic.twitter.com/03lgMNIZXH
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 14, 2021
Throughout the playoffs, Gobert and Simmons have continued to differentiate themselves. Gobert is the hub of a legitimate Western Conference contender, while Simmons is showing his versatility in taking on the assignment as the primary defender of Trae Young. Overall, the league’s top defensive honors yielded few surprises this season, but the top-tier players on the defensive end continue to shine.