Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard earns NBA all-defensive team spot
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) reacts as he walks off the court at the end of second half NBA Eastern Conference finals playoff basketball action against the Milwaukee Bucks, in Milwaukee on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 5:19PM EDT
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has been named to the 2018-19 NBA all-defensive second team.
Leonard, who has now made the all-defensive team five times, is the first player in Raptors history to receive the honour.
Among players with at least 100 steals, Leonard and Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers were the only players in the NBA to record more steals (106) than personal fouls (87).
Leonard earned his third career all-star selection this season and was twice named Eastern Conference player of the week.
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans) and Klay Thompson (Golden State) join Leonard on the second team.
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics) and Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee) are on the first all-defensive team.
Leonard, Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe will be back on the court Thursday for Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference final. The Raptors and Bucks are tied at 2-2.
Toronto shooting guard Danny Green was close to a spot on the second team with 19 first-team votes and 28 second-team votes from the global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters for 66 total points. He earned more points than both Green and Leonard, but as only two guards are permitted per team he fell short of Thompson's 82 points and Holiday's 90 points.
Toronto forward Pascal Siakam earned 24 points to finish second among forwards not named to a team. Point guard Kyle Lowry earned three points.