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Curry ranked third overall in Real Plus Minus. If both had enjoyed better health, they would have dueled for the First Team spot next to Harden.
In the end, Paul Ditto for Kyrie Irving, whose quality season ended prematurely due to a knee injury. Even though Butler missed more than a month due to a knee injury, he still managed to log more than 2, minutes thanks to his heavy load in Minnesota.
One potential alternative was to slot DeRozan as a Third Team forward in place of Horford or Butler so that Curry and Paul could occupy the guard slots. There are quality arguments to be made against Towns: He should possess a larger offensive role, he must improve his consistency and attentiveness defensively, and he is only the second-most important player for a Timberwolves team that entered the final night of the season fighting to make the playoffs.
Nikola Jokic is a far better playmaker and Rudy Gobert is a much better defender. Meanwhile, his overall offensive package—one-on-one scoring, three-point shooting, mobility—makes life significantly easier for his teammates. There was one final tempting Third Team configuration: In his first season as a starter, Murray established himself as the point guard no one wants to face.
His wingspan is endlessly disruptive, his commitment is excellent, and he posted the best Defensive Real Plus Minus among guards with at least 50 games played. Covington has been an elite defensive player for multiple seasons now, but this year he proved to be a brilliant fit alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
He can switch , he challenges every shot he can reach, he offers well-timed help, and he swarms ball-handlers. Covington is one of many reasons the rising Sixers often feel unfair. Davis, as noted above, deserves more credit than he receives for his defensive impact and versatility. Please enter your email address associated with the account so we can help reset your password.
The most trusted voice in sports delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now to receive Sports Illustrated's best content, special offers and much more. You may unsubscribe from email communication at anytime. Thank you for signing up! Please check your inbox to confirm your email address and start receiving newsletters. Stephen Curry didn't even make the cut. By Ben Golliver April 11, Damian Lillard may be known for his ability to go supernova in the fourth quarter, but he's slowly transformed himself.
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