HomeSports NewsNBA Awards 2023-24: Projecting All-NBA and All-Defensive Selections in a Positionless League

NBA Awards 2023-24: Projecting All-NBA and All-Defensive Selections in a Positionless League


NBA Awards 2023-24: Embracing a Positionless League

The NBA has implemented significant changes in the selection process for the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams. In previous years, voters had to choose two guards, two forwards, and one center for each team. However, the league has now shifted to positionless voting, allowing voters to select the most deserving players irrespective of their positions. This change aims to ensure that the most deserving players receive the recognition they deserve.

Positionless voting is particularly beneficial for the All-NBA teams. In previous seasons, there were instances where the second-best player in a particular year was excluded from the All-NBA First Team due to positional constraints. For example, Nikola Jokić, who finished second in the MVP voting last season, was left off the first team because he and Joel Embiid are both centers. If the voting had been positionless, Jokić would have made the first team without any issues.

The move to positionless voting also prevents scenarios where players from positions with deeper talent pools are unfairly excluded from the All-NBA Third Team. In some years, the performance of the sixth-best guard or third-best center may pale in comparison to the sixth-best player in positions with more talent. Positionless voting ensures that deserving players from all positions have an equal opportunity to make the All-NBA teams.

While positionless voting has a more significant impact on the All-NBA teams, it also has positive implications for the All-Defensive teams. The game has become increasingly positionless, with teams frequently switching defensive assignments. However, there is still a distinction between “a big” and “a small” on defense. The roles of players like Rudy Gobert and Jrue Holiday differ significantly. Positionless voting should prevent one type of defensive role from overshadowing the other on the All-Defensive teams.

The introduction of positionless voting is generally seen as a step in the right direction. It ensures that the most deserving players are recognized for their outstanding performances throughout the season. However, some discretion is still necessary to prevent biases or favoritism towards certain positions. Voters should prioritize a player’s performance in the specific season rather than considering their entire career.

As for the impact on the thought processes of voters, it remains to be seen how the elimination of positional considerations will affect their choices. The degree to which voters’ All-NBA First Team choices differ from their MVP choices will be an interesting aspect to observe. Additionally, the opinions of players, coaches, and front-office officials will continue to play a crucial role in determining the All-Defensive teams.

As the regular season comes to a close, it’s still early to finalize the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams. However, some players are already standing out as potential candidates. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nikola Jokić, Luka Dončić, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jayson Tatum are strong contenders for the All-NBA First Team. Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama, Bam Adebayo, Herb Jones, and Anthony Davis are leading the race for the All-Defensive First Team.

Ultimately, the goal of these awards is to recognize the best players and their outstanding contributions to the game. Positionless voting ensures that deserving players receive the recognition they deserve, regardless of their positions on the court. As the NBA continues to evolve into a positionless league, embracing this change is a step in the right direction for the league’s top honors.

(Note: The article is based on quotes and opinions from NBA writers Josh Robbins, William Guillory, and Kelly Iko, who cover the league and cast awards votes.)

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