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Wizards denied all-defensive team honors despite strong season

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Craig Stouffer

Allen, James lead the way;

three Grizzlies recognized

Wizards players were denied votes for the NBA all-defensive team despite one of the franchise's best seasons statistically in more than two and a half decades.

Memphis guard Tony Allen (53 points) and Miami forward LeBron James (52 points) garnered the most votes from the panel of 30 NBA head coaches. But for the second straight year, the NBA defensive player of the year, as chosen by the media, made only the all-defensive second team. Memphis center Marc Gasol followed in the footsteps of New York center Tyson Chandler, who had the same fate in 2012.

The Wizards (29-53) finished the season among the top 10 teams in the NBA in three major categories: eighth in points allowed per game (95.8), tied for fifth in field goal percentage allowed (.440) and tied for ninth in 3-point percentage allowed (.349). They also finished fifth in defensive rating (103.0), a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions.

The performance was the franchise's best since 1987, when the Bullets were eighth in points allowed (107.3), eighth in defensive field goal percentage (.473) and tenth in defensive 3-point percentage (.291).

All but two of the 11 selections on the two all-defensive rosters came from teams that are in the second round of the playoffs. Allen and James were joined on the first team by Chandler, Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka, Chicago center Joakim Noah and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul.

Along with Gasol, the second team included Indiana forward Paul George, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan, Boston guard Avery Bradley and Memphis guard Mike Conley.

Allen, Gasol and Conley were part of a Grizzlies defense that allowed a league-low 89.3 points per game. According to NBA.com, Memphis' defensive rating with Allen on the floor was 94.3 points per 100 possessions, compared with 101.1 points when he was on the bench. James recorded 17 games with at least three steals and 10 games with at least two steals and two blocks.

Players from 16 teams were represented in the voting, but there was speculation that a single first-place vote for Dallas guard Mike James may have been intended for LeBron James.

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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