In the previous articles, the all-rookie teams and all-NBA teams were discussed. This time, this article will go over the all-defensive teams and most improved player award. These are the 2022-2023 NBA Award Predictions Pt. 3.
All-Defensive Second Team: Mitchell Robinson, Mikal Bridges, Dejounte Murray, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Robinson figures to make his debut on an all-defensive team this year due to being one of the more respectable shot-blockers in today’s NBA. If he can stay healthy, he can definitely make some noise in the defensive department. Bridges will be a staple in their defensive scheme like last year, so he will look to improve upon last year. Murray is in a new home in Atlanta, so he has some new-found confidence. Butler is going to continue his run as one of the best defenders in the league and don’t forget about that Adebayo guy at the five. Lastly, Giannis could make the second team this year due to having so many other talented defenders in the league. Remember, this is all purely speculation and just predictions.
All-Defensive First Team: Jrue Holiday, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Rudy Gobert, Bam Adebayo
Holiday has been one of the better defenders in the league for the past couple of years and this year will be no different. Smart is coming off a somewhat disappointing playoff series in which he was lit up by Steph Curry, so this year will be a sort of redemption arc for him. He is still clearly one of the better defenders in the league, so he will look to improve even more in his ninth season. Williams will make the all-defensive first team this year if he can stay healthy due to his tenacity on that end. Gobert is usually a staple in the defensive first-team department, so his spot will remain there. Adebayo is going to be one of the best defenders in the league this year. Adebayo just turned 25 years old, so he’s not even in his prime yet which is scary to think about.
Most Improved Player: Keldon Johnson
Johnson is going to be the number one option in San Antonio now that Murray is out of town. Already one of the better young guys in the league, Johnson put up some very healthy averages in just his third year in the league at 17 points, 6.1 boards, 2.1 dimes, 0.7 steals, and 0.2 blocks on 47% from the field, 40% from three and 76% from the line. Now that he figures to be the number one option in Gregg Popovich’s offense, Johnson is going to have a much better campaign. Spurs fans everywhere are witnessing the birth of another star in Johnson and at just 22 years old, he has the potential to be an all-star in the very near future. Expect Johnson to be in a tight race for Most Improved Player.