2019 All-Playoffs Team

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2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#1 » by Ken D » Fri May 29, 2020 12:47 pm

Let’s try doing the 2019 playoffs and we’ll see how that goes.

We’ll do the voting the same as the regular season All-NBA teams, so five points for a 1st team vote, three points for a 2nd team vote, and 1 point for a 3rd team vote. I will keep a running tally of the voting totals.

As far as position designation, we can be flexible but try to stay within the basic framework of 1 Center, 2 Forwards, 2 Guards on each team.

Here’s my ballot:

1st Team
C - Giannis Antetokounmpo
F - Kawhi Leonard
F - Draymond Green
G - Stephen Curry
G - Kyle Lowry

2nd Team
C - Nikola Jokic
F - Kevin Durant
F - Pascal Siakam
G - James Harden
G - Klay Thompson

3rd Team
C - Marc Gasol
F - Andre Iguodala
F - CJ McCollum
G - Damian Lillard
G - Chris Paul

Toughest decisions:
- Gasol over Embiid for the 3rd team Center.
- Klay over Lillard for 2nd team.
- CJ McCollum/Chris Paul over Jimmy Butler/Danny Green on the 3rd team
- I moved CJ McCollum to F as he played 34% of his playoff minutes at Forward and he was my last pick for the 3rd team.

Others considered:
Ben Simmons
Khris Middleton
Fred VanVleet
Paul George
Jamal Murray
Serge Ibaka
Tobias Harris
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#2 » by BigBoss23 » Fri May 29, 2020 3:26 pm

Durant and Kawhi were neck and neck as the best players in the playoffs, to leave him off the 1st team is IMO insanity.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#3 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 4:49 pm

Ken D wrote:1st Team
C - Giannis Antetokounmpo


Whoa. Okay I'm sorry but I've got a problem with this.

The 2nd best player on the Bucks in the playoffs was Brook Lopez who was very clearly both the Center and someone who actually plays like a center in a way Giannis clearly benefits from as a teammate.

In general, I'm not remotely attached to the C/F/F/G/G format, but if we're going to veer away from that I see 2 options:

1. Just ask for the 15 best players.

2. Make adjustments that include superior players than the rigid format would allow us to do but still feel like teams.

Putting Giannis at center is just us lying to ourselves about what we're doing. He plays like a guard on offense and a forward on defense, so "center" is literally the worst label we could give to him.

Sorry to be so harsh, this is a pet peeve of mine, and to be honest, normally when people violate this, they aren't as bold as you. Fudging Anthony Davis between Forward & Center is one thing because in the end he's a classic big. But Giannis specifically started to become a star when they started letting him run the point in many situations.

(btw, I'm not necessarily advocating that Brook Lopez make the 3 teams, though he certainly warrants consideration.)
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#4 » by Ken D » Fri May 29, 2020 5:04 pm

As per Basketball Reference, Giannis played 27% of his regular season minutes at Center last season, and 43% of his playoff minutes at Center.

I generally went with a rule that if the player played at least 20% of his minutes at a position in the regular season or playoffs, then I considered him eligible at that position.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#5 » by Jiminy Glick » Fri May 29, 2020 5:13 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
Ken D wrote:1st Team
C - Giannis Antetokounmpo


Whoa. Okay I'm sorry but I've got a problem with this.

The 2nd best player on the Bucks in the playoffs was Brook Lopez who was very clearly both the Center and someone who actually plays like a center in a way Giannis clearly benefits from as a teammate.

In general, I'm not remotely attached to the C/F/F/G/G format, but if we're going to veer away from that I see 2 options:

1. Just ask for the 15 best players.

2. Make adjustments that include superior players than the rigid format would allow us to do but still feel like teams.

Putting Giannis at center is just us lying to ourselves about what we're doing. He plays like a guard on offense and a forward on defense, so "center" is literally the worst label we could give to him.

Sorry to be so harsh, this is a pet peeve of mine, and to be honest, normally when people violate this, they aren't as bold as you. Fudging Anthony Davis between Forward & Center is one thing because in the end he's a classic big. But Giannis specifically started to become a star when they started letting him run the point in many situations.

(btw, I'm not necessarily advocating that Brook Lopez make the 3 teams, though he certainly warrants consideration.)


Giannis can defend centers though. So he can play it very easily. Centers don't have to play a certain way on offense. Against a lot of centers he is actually a mismatch at the position in his favor. He would give Ewing problems in terms of transition defense.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#6 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 6:10 pm

Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can defend centers though. So he can play it very easily. Centers don't have to play a certain way on offense. Against a lot of centers he is actually a mismatch at the position in his favor. He would give Ewing problems in terms of transition defense.


But he didn't play center on defense while his most valuable teammate did, and on offense, you're literally looking at a team where all 5 guys play a role that would traditionally be considered guard-like in how they make their impact. There literally aren't any guys who play like offensive bigs on the first team at all.

Re: Giannis would give Ewing problems in transition...precisely because Giannis is not playing like a center as Ewing did.

If we care about position and role at all, it does not make sense to put Giannis at center.
If we don't actually care about position, why emphasize the C/F/F/G/G format?
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#7 » by bondom34 » Fri May 29, 2020 6:15 pm

Not to continue down this line and be the "well technically" :D...but couldn't Green be moved to center and Giannis to forward and then the problem is somewhat fixed?

I'd agree Giannis isn't really a center honestly, just seems like an easy fix to me.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#8 » by euroleague » Fri May 29, 2020 6:17 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can defend centers though. So he can play it very easily. Centers don't have to play a certain way on offense. Against a lot of centers he is actually a mismatch at the position in his favor. He would give Ewing problems in terms of transition defense.


But he didn't play center on defense while his most valuable teammate did, and on offense, you're literally looking at a team where all 5 guys play a role that would traditionally be considered guard-like in how they make their impact. There literally aren't any guys who play like offensive bigs on the first team at all.

Re: Giannis would give Ewing problems in transition...precisely because Giannis is not playing like a center as Ewing did.

If we care about position and role at all, it does not make sense to put Giannis at center.
If we don't actually care about position, why emphasize the C/F/F/G/G format?

Giannis was often guarding the opposing Center against Toronto. Why not post your own team?

1st Team:
Jokic/KD/Kawhi/Curry/Lillard
2nd Team:
Embiid/Giannis/Jimmy Butler/CP3/Lowry
3rd Team:
Gasol/Siakam/Draymond/Klay Thompson/Jamal Murray
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#9 » by Jiminy Glick » Fri May 29, 2020 6:45 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can defend centers though. So he can play it very easily. Centers don't have to play a certain way on offense. Against a lot of centers he is actually a mismatch at the position in his favor. He would give Ewing problems in terms of transition defense.


But he didn't play center on defense while his most valuable teammate did, and on offense, you're literally looking at a team where all 5 guys play a role that would traditionally be considered guard-like in how they make their impact. There literally aren't any guys who play like offensive bigs on the first team at all.

Re: Giannis would give Ewing problems in transition...precisely because Giannis is not playing like a center as Ewing did.

If we care about position and role at all, it does not make sense to put Giannis at center.
If we don't actually care about position, why emphasize the C/F/F/G/G format?


Giannis can post up though. In terms of a position all that matters is who you are matched up against and if you can outplay them or defend them and if you can help your team win to beat the other team.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#10 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 8:09 pm

euroleague wrote:Giannis was often guarding the opposing Center against Toronto. Why not post your own team?


The opposing center (Marc Gasol) was not a scoring threat, and let's be real here: A major part of why Giannis was assigned to that role was that he was too weak to guard the actual scoring threat of the opposition. Someone mentioned Ewing, can we all agree that if there were a real Ewing-like Center with traditional Center power who was a scoring threat that the lithe Giannis would never in a million years be assigned to guard him when there's an actual 5 on the floor for the same reason why Ewing wouldn't be asked to guard Giannis as he attacks from the perimeter? Classifying Giannis as a 5 because he guarded Gasol is analogous to classifying Andrew Bogut as a 2 because he was assigned to Tony Allen.

But look, I know it seems like I'm being pedantic here, but this isn't a random thread. This is being presented as the start of a project where each thread adds up points and we go back through years of play. It's worth it to get criteria clear up front if we want to have meaningful debates and meaningful results.

There are 2 traditional ways of doing teams: By position and by best overall player. When you choose the former, you're sometimes allowed to fudge things a little but not a lot. When you want to fudge things by a lot, you use the latter approach.

What does it mean to fudge things "a little"? Tim Duncan is the classic example. He's a big. He plays like a big. The only reason he was classified as a 4 was that the Spurs used a system with 2 classic bigs which meant that the distinction between a 4 and a 5 really didn't matter. He could play as the 5, or he could play with another 5, so insisting his classification was definitively one or the other was quibbling about stuff that didn't really matter.

The entire scheme built around Giannis is focused him NOT having to be a 5. On offense he plays a role that is more guard-like, on defense he works in tandem with an actual 5. Hence, while I was planning to put him in his official role ("Forward"), I'd actually be okay with someone putting him in at a guard spot. There are 2 sides to the game, and Giannis has become something of a forward/guard hybrid, and that's how he's become an MVP player. Had he been forced to play like a center, that frankly doesn't happen.

Either positions have meaning for this exercise or they don't. Pick.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#11 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 8:17 pm

Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can post up though. In terms of a position all that matters is who you are matched up against and if you can outplay them or defend them and if you can help your team win to beat the other team.


Guards can post up too, the question is who they post up.

Let's remember why Toronto was so successful against Milwaukee. They put a 3 on him who could guard Giannis from the perimeter to prevent him from gaining momentum as he drove to the hoop. (It also happens that that 3 is physically more powerful than Giannis by a good margin, which isn't an entirely fair thing to bring up because Kawhi probably has more power than any Power Forward in the game, but it's worth acknowledging that Giannis thrives the way he does because he's light enough to be very quick, but that lightness is also why Milwaukee is so happy to have a 5 out there with him.)
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#12 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 8:33 pm

Ken D wrote:As per Basketball Reference, Giannis played 27% of his regular season minutes at Center last season, and 43% of his playoff minutes at Center.

I generally went with a rule that if the player played at least 20% of his minutes at a position in the regular season or playoffs, then I considered him eligible at that position.


I see. If we're going back into history it makes sense to allow folks to go by classifications by sources like bkref.

I'll note that when Giannis wasn't playing with Brook Lopez, he was playing with Nikola Mirotic. I realize that Mirotic is classified as a 4, but he had the bulk of a 5 which is part of why the Bucks played him.

I'll put it another way:

If the Bucks saw Giannis as a 5, would they acquired Brook Lopez' twin brother? Seems to me the Bucks are clearly building around Giannis trying to keep him from being the BIG of the team.

But look, I've said about all it really makes sense to say. If you and the group are going to go by a threshold from a source like bkref, I'll with draw my objection.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#13 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 8:37 pm

bondom34 wrote:Not to continue down this line and be the "well technically" :D...but couldn't Green be moved to center and Giannis to forward and then the problem is somewhat fixed?

I'd agree Giannis isn't really a center honestly, just seems like an easy fix to me.


You're absolutely right. I'd have no objection to Green as center based on how the Warriors use him. The main lineup Green was in during the playoffs was Steph/Klay/Andre/KD/Dray. He was the 5 of that bunch.

(For the record, I have no objection to listing Green as a forward either. :D )
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#14 » by Ken D » Fri May 29, 2020 9:18 pm

Basketball Reference has the Center minutes as:

Regular Season
Giannis 27%
Draymond 2%

Playoffs
Giannis 43%
Draymond 24%

Based on that I felt that both should be eligible at Center, but that Giannis made more sense in the Center spot.

For consistency let’s go with the rule that the player must play at least 20% of their minutes at a position in either the regular season or playoffs in order to be eligible at that position.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#15 » by Doctor MJ » Fri May 29, 2020 10:10 pm

Okay, my 2019 team:

1st Team
C Joel Embiid (Phi)
F Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil)
F Kawhi Leonard (Tor)
G Steph Curry (GS)
G James Harden (Hou)

- As the Toronto-Philadelphia series unfolded it really felt like this was a series that could go either way until the lucky bounce...bounce...bounce...bounce. Embiid was a force of nature that it was clear no one in the league had a counter for and he was much, much better than the center on the other side of the ball. With Toronto going on to win the title it really left me with the though that in some parallel universe Joel Embiid has a Finals MVP to his credit.

- Kawhi being on the 1st team is a given. Giannis only looks suspect because of Kawhi. With Durant's injury, Giannis has to be the other pick there.

- Curry & Harden have been the dominant guards of recent years and last post-season was no exception. If Lillard had been utterly insane in the 2nd & 3rd rounds I'd have considered him, but he really wasn't. Portland got a round further than Houston because they didn't have to play Golden State or Houston.

2nd Team
C Nikola Jokic (Den)
F Jimmy Butler (Phi)
F Kevin Durant (GS)
G Damian Lillard (Por)
G Klay Thompson (GS)

- Jokic was a revelation in the playoffs and I love him. Almost beating Portland isn't the same thing as almost beating the champs though.

- There's also a universe where Butler wins Finals MVP. Butler deserves credit for how close the 76ers came to being the best in the league particularly as we see what happened without him. If Philly wasn't going to run it back, they needed to do something other than what they did. I'd have advised them to trade Simmons, and if they wouldn't do that, trade Embiid. One of those two guys is your franchise player, but until Simmons learns to shoot it ain't going to work together and I'd say by the end of the 2019 playoffs Simmons was already losing trade value. Also, there is no universe where maxing out Tobias Harris is the right move for any NBA team.

- Durant would have been a strong contender for 1st team without the injury, I don't think he should slide any lower.

- Dame continues to be a great guard just a step below the top tier.

- Klay was great in the post-KD aftermath I feel very comfortable with him in this spot.

3rd Team
C Marc Gasol (Tor)
F Draymond Green (GS)
F Pascal Siakam (Tor)
G Kyle Lowry (Tor)
G CJ McCollum (Por)


- 3rd team Center is between Gasol & Lopez. Lopez had the clear edge on this until Toronto found it's Giannis cure. While Gasol was not the face of the cure (Kawhi), coach Nurse's solution wasn't built on just having Kawhi shut down Giannis but having a line of defenders that forced Giannis to do something other than drive to the rim, and it just turned out that Giannis couldn't be Giannis without that. Major accomplishment, and Gasol was an essential part of it. No Gasol, probably no finals for Toronto.

- I agonized a bit on the forwards because of Paul George. We talked about the 1st round dilemma before. In the end, it felt like being an easy out in the 1st round to a team that got swept by someone other than the champ, made it hard to really honor George. He did not disappoint in the playoffs, but his accomplishment this year is best expressed through regular season accolades.

- Green & Siakam felt like the obvious picks here if you're looking for forwards who made a big imprint in the playoffs this year.

- Similar for the guards with Lowry & McCollum. McCollum's a guy I typically look past, but he was the one who carried Portland past the Nuggets to get them to the WCF. That's no small thing.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#16 » by Jiminy Glick » Sat May 30, 2020 11:37 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can post up though. In terms of a position all that matters is who you are matched up against and if you can outplay them or defend them and if you can help your team win to beat the other team.


Guards can post up too, the question is who they post up.

Let's remember why Toronto was so successful against Milwaukee. They put a 3 on him who could guard Giannis from the perimeter to prevent him from gaining momentum as he drove to the hoop. (It also happens that that 3 is physically more powerful than Giannis by a good margin, which isn't an entirely fair thing to bring up because Kawhi probably has more power than any Power Forward in the game, but it's worth acknowledging that Giannis thrives the way he does because he's light enough to be very quick, but that lightness is also why Milwaukee is so happy to have a 5 out there with him.)


That is true I see what your saying, but he is still a monster. Is he bigger than Bill Russell? I think so. He can literally play every position since he can guard every position. But is best at either forward position. Looking at other players Wilt and Kareem in their athletic primes can play power forward. I love putting players out of their traditional positions on rosters, that is a way to get mismatches. LeBron is another, he can play all 5 positions against most centers, excluding players like Shaq and Wilt.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#17 » by Doctor MJ » Sat May 30, 2020 2:32 pm

Jiminy Glick wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:Giannis can post up though. In terms of a position all that matters is who you are matched up against and if you can outplay them or defend them and if you can help your team win to beat the other team.


Guards can post up too, the question is who they post up.

Let's remember why Toronto was so successful against Milwaukee. They put a 3 on him who could guard Giannis from the perimeter to prevent him from gaining momentum as he drove to the hoop. (It also happens that that 3 is physically more powerful than Giannis by a good margin, which isn't an entirely fair thing to bring up because Kawhi probably has more power than any Power Forward in the game, but it's worth acknowledging that Giannis thrives the way he does because he's light enough to be very quick, but that lightness is also why Milwaukee is so happy to have a 5 out there with him.)


That is true I see what your saying, but he is still a monster. Is he bigger than Bill Russell? I think so. He can literally play every position since he can guard every position. But is best at either forward position. Looking at other players Wilt and Kareem in their athletic primes can play power forward. I love putting players out of their traditional positions on rosters, that is a way to get mismatches. LeBron is another, he can play all 5 positions against most centers, excluding players like Shaq and Wilt.


I want to be clear before responding that I've dropped my protest. While Giannis will not be one of my centers, I understand the need to be able to use bkref's positional splits if we go back historically.

Re: Bigger than Russell. He's also bigger than Draymond Green who I've said I have no problem listing as a center. My point was about how Giannis actually played within his team's 5-man schemes.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#18 » by 70sFan » Sat May 30, 2020 3:12 pm

I don't include anyone who played only one round (so no Gobert or PG).

First team:

G: Steph Curry
G: Damian Lillard
F: Kawhi Leonard
F: Giannis Antetokumpo
C: Nikola Jokic

- Curry is clear choice to me, he was very good throughout the playoffs outside of Houston series (when he was very bad),
- I pick Dame over Harden because he played more games and played better on average, Harden was good but against Jazz he underperformed,
- Kawhi is my MVP of last playoffs, easy choice,
- I thought about Siakam vs Green vs Giannis, but I picked Giannis because he was good in first two rounds, but it's very close to me as he underperformed against Toronto,
- Jokic offense was much more resiliant than Embiid to the point that I don't think Joel's defense is good enough to overcome that.

Second team:

G: Kyle Lowry
G: James Harden
F: Jimmy Butler
F: Draymond Green
C: Marc Gasol

- Kyle Lowry had outstanding playoffs run and was arguably second best player in Toronto team,
- Harden played very well against Warriors, with better first round I'd pick him over Lillard,
- I picked Jimmy Butler over KD because he played more games and was more important for his team. Durant went off against terrible Clippers defense but his series against Rockets wasn't that spectacular to me,
- Green was still very important player for finals team and his defense was still there for most part.
- Gasol outplayed Embiid H2H, played more games against tougher competition and was the best defensive player on historically good Toronto team, it's clear choice to me and I actually considered him over Joker.

Third team:
G: CJ McCollum
G: Klay Thompson
F: Kevin Durant
F: Pascal Siakam
C: Joel Embiid

- tough choice at G, but I decided to pick McCollum because he played many games and his scoring game was important for Portland, I also considered Danny Green and Kris Middleton.
- Klay was very good in playoffs and I thought about him on second team, but Harden was just better player than him,
- KD has to be somewhere, but I don't think he should be higher than that - his health was deciding factor of Warriors loss,
- Embiid was better than any other center left.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#19 » by Ken D » Thu Jun 4, 2020 3:57 am

Results so far:

1st Team
C - Nikola Jokic, Denver 16
F - Kawhi Leonard, Toronto 20
F - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee 18
G - Stephen Curry, Golden State 20
G - Damian Lillard, Portland 14

2nd Team
C - Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 9
F - Kevin Durant, Golden State 12
F - Draymond Green, Golden State 10
G - Kyle Lowry, Toronto 12
G - James Harden, Houston 11

3rd Team
C - Marc Gasol, Toronto 6
F - Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 9
F - Pascal Siakam, Toronto 6
G - Klay Thompson, Golden State 8
G - Chris Paul, Houston 4

Others Receiving Votes
CJ McCollum, Portland, 3; Andre Iguodala, Golden State, 1; Jamal Murray, Denver, 1

Ballots Counted: Ken D; euroleague; Doctor MJ; 70sFan

Looks pretty good. Hopefully we can get a couple more people's votes before we move on to 2018.
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Re: 2019 All-Playoffs Team 

Post#20 » by Dutchball97 » Thu Jun 4, 2020 8:16 am

1st team:
G - Stephen Curry
G - Damian Lillard
F - Kawhi Leonard
F - Kevin Durant
C - Nikola Jokic

2nd team:
G - James Harden
G - Kyle Lowry
F - Giannis Antetokounmpo
F - Jimmy Butler
C - Joel Embiid

3rd team:
G - Chris Paul
G - Klay Thompson
F - Pascal Siakam
F - Draymond Green
C - Marc Gasol

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