LeBron James and Stephen Curry headline the 2014-15 All-NBA Teams.

The NBA issued a press release of this season’s All-NBA Teams on May 21. Looking at the names, it seems they are all deserving of the honor.

2014-15 All-NBA First Team:

  • LeBron James, forward, Cleveland Cavaliers (645 points)
  • Anthony Davis, forward/center, New Orleans Pelicans (625 points)
  • Marc Gasol, center, Memphis Grizzlies (453 points)
  • Stephen Curry, guard, Golden State Warriors (645 points)
  • James Harden, guard, Houston Rockets (637 points)

2014-15 All-NBA Second Team:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge, forward/center, Portland Trail Blazers (390 points)
  • DeMarcus Cousins, forward/center, Sacramento Kings (220 points)
  • Pau Gasol, center, Chicago Bulls (242 points)
  • Russell Westbrook, guard, Oklahoma City Thunder (397 points)
  • Chris Paul, guard, Los Angeles Clippers (335 points)

2014-15 All-NBA Third Team:

  • Blake Griffin, forward, Los Angeles Clippers (189 points)
  • Tim Duncan, forward/center, San Antonio Spurs (167 points)
  • DeAndre Jordan, center, Los Angeles Clippers (175 points)
  • Klay Thompson, guard, Golden State Warriors (122 points)
  • Kyrie Irving, guard, Cleveland Cavaliers (112 points)

Curry solidified his status as the NBA’s best point guard by winning the 2014-15 NBA MVP Award and being named to the All-NBA First Team on Thursday.

He averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 2.04 steals per game this season. He also broke his own record for three-pointers made in a season with 286 in 2014-15, per NBA.com.

James, a four-time NBA MVP, finished third in the league in scoring with his 25.3 points-per-game average. He also continued to be a great playmaker, placing seventh in assists (7.4 apg), per the NBA’s official press release.

LBJ is also one of only three players (Harden and Westbrook being the others) to register 1,700 points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 100 steals this season, per NBA.com.

More importantly, he led a Cavaliers resurgence in 2014-15. Cleveland finished with a 53-29 (.646) win-loss record this season after missing the playoffs the last four seasons.

James told ESPN on Thursday he’s grateful to be named to the All-NBA First Team for an eighth straight year:

I’ve been able to play at a high level for a long time. I take my craft seriously. I try to be the best I can be every single night when I’m out on the floor. To be rewarded again, it means a lot. I’ve done something pretty cool in my career so far, and hopefully I can continue.

On the other hand, Harden was the NBA’s second-leading scorer (27.4 PPG) in 2014-15. He also finished ninth in assists (7.0 apg), per NBA.com. Harden also had a league-leading 10 40-point games and added 35 30-point games.

He’s not just a lethal scorer, mind you.

Harden also had four triple-doubles this season, making him the first Houston Rocket to pull off the feat since Hakeem Olajuwon did it in 1989-90, per NBA.com.

Davis stated his case as one of the NBA’s best two-way players. He averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and a league-leading 2.94 blocks per game. His versatility helped New Orleans make the postseason for the first time in four years, per the NBA’s official press release.

Marc Gasol averaged a career high 17.4 points for the Grizzlies, who won 55 games this season. According to ESPN, he is the first Spanish-born player to earn All-NBA First Team honors.

The Cavaliers (James and Irving), Clippers (Paul, Griffin and Jordan) and Warriors (Curry and Thompson) were the three teams who had at least two players represent them in this year’s All-NBA Team lineup, per ESPN.

Despite these players’ accomplishments, perhaps Tim Duncan’s this season are the most impressive.

Duncan made it to the All- NBA Team for a record 15th time in his career on Thursday, tying Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, per the Spurs’ official website.

Of those 15 times Duncan has made it, 10 of those were on the First Team, three on the Second Team and two on the Third Team, per the Spurs’ press release.

The 39-year-old Duncan is also the oldest NBA player to make it to an All-NBA Team since a 38-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it during the 1985-86 NBA season, per the Spurs’ official website.

On this note, Duncan becomes the first player who is at least 38 years old to average at least 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in a season. His 1.96 blocks per game placed him eighth overall and is the highest average for any NBA player aged 38 years or older.

This relentlessness on the defensive end earned Duncan a spot on the All-NBA Defensive Second Team on May 20. A panel of sportswriters and broadcasters across the United States and Canada voted for the All-NBA Teams, per NBA.com.  

 

The Final Say

There were no surprises when the All-NBA Teams were announced on May 21. It was no surprise to see LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Stephen Curry and James Harden make the First Team.

All of the members of the Second and Third Teams were all deserving as well. If you take a closer look at the First Team, most of them—James, Curry and Harden—are known for their scoring. However,  they’re not just about padding their point totals.

Bear in mind James finished seventh in the league in assists, Curry averaged a career high 2.04 steals per game and Harden had four triple-doubles.

By now, we already know Davis and Marc Gasol are forces to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor.

As fans, we can be so preoccupied with highlight reels on the offensive end we take these superstars’ all-around skills for granted.

What we do know is for a player to be recognized as one of the NBA’s best, he has to assert himself in most of the game’s facets. This All-NBA Team list proves it.

It also represents an interesting paradigm shift in the NBA.

Had superstars like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George been healthy, you can very well bet they would have made one of the All-NBA Teams.

We’re excited they’ll be back healthier than ever next season. One thing is for sure: They will give the other studs a run for their money.

Finally, several players who just missed out on making it to the 2014-15 All-NBA Teams ought to make it next year. The more prominent ones include the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler—two of the best two-way players in the NBA today.

Now that the league’s best of the best have been given their proper recognition, let’s just sit back and enjoy the ongoing conference finals.

 

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