US basketball

Jokic, Antetokounmpo lead NBA First Team

Reuters
Jokic, Antetokounmpo lead NBA First Team

BEASTS. Nikola Jokic (left) and Giannis Antetokounmpo drop double-double averages this season.

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo emerges as the only unanimous first-team selection even after Nikola Jokic won the MVP for the second straight season

Denver Nuggets center and league MVP Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, and Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum comprised the 2021-2022 All-NBA First Team, it was announced Tuesday night, May 24 (Wednesday, May 25, Manila time).

The All-NBA Second Team featured Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

The Third Team was made up of Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Suns guard Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Though Jokic was named MVP for the second straight season, the only unanimous first-team selection was Antetokounmpo, who won MVP in 2019 and 2020. Jokic received 88 first-team votes and 12 second-team votes, as did Doncic.

Embiid earned the fifth-most total points from the voting panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. At 57 votes for the first team and 43 for the second team, Embiid tallied 414 points, more than Tatum’s 390. But he was named to the second team due to positional restrictions; the NBA only allows one center per team.

Jokic averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists and made 58.3% of his shots in 74 starts for Denver this season. 

Antetokounmpo averaged 29.9 points (a career high), 11.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists and made 55.3% of his field goals.

It marks Antetokounmpo’s sixth All-NBA selection and his fourth first-team selection. It is Jokic’s fourth overall selection and third appearance on the first team.

Doncic made his third straight first team after averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in the regular season.

Tatum earned first-team honors for the first time in his career. He averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists – all career highs – for Boston in the regular season. 

Booker earned his first All-NBA selection of any kind. He posted a career-best 26.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, along with 4.8 assists, to lead Phoenix to the best regular-season record.

Booker and Towns became eligible for supermax contract extensions this offseason due to making the All-NBA team.

James extended his NBA record with his 18th All-NBA selection. Paul earned his 11th selection and Durant garnered his 10th.

Other players receiving votes included centers Rudy Gobert of Utah (45 points) and Bam Adebayo of Miami (28); forwards Jimmy Butler of Miami (32 points), Jaylen Brown of Boston (3), Desmond Bane of Memphis (1) and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee (1); and guards Donovan Mitchell of Utah (4), Mikal Bridges of Phoenix (1), Jrue Holiday of Milwaukee (1), Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn (1), Dejounte Murray of San Antonio (1), and Fred Van Vleet of Toronto (1). – Rappler.com