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2012 NBA Awards: LeBron James Anchors All-Defensive Team

MIAMI, FL - MAY 09:  Forward LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat defends Forward Carmelo Anthony#7 of the New York Knicks in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs  on May 9, 2012 at the American Airines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 23, 2012

The 2012 NBA All-Defensive Teams have been officially announced, and you might be quite shocked at who was left off the first team.

According to Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk, the top tier of NBA defenders is comprised of LeBron James and Serge Ibaka at forward, Chris Paul and Tony Allen at guard and Dwight Howard at center.

Yes, you read that right. Dwight Howard made the All-Defensive first team over Defensive Player of the Year winner Tyson Chandler.

Chandler was relegated to the second team, which has Kevin Garnett and Luol Deng at forward with Rajon Rondo and Kobe Bryant rounding out the guard spots.

NBA head coaches vote on the All-Defensive squads, while a panel of sportswriters elects the winner for the individual award, which explains why the Knicks center was given the DPOY award, but left off the first team. 

Despite that blunder at center, the coaches did a wonderful job of recognizing players that gave an outstanding effort on defense and absolutely hounded the opposition.

James won the MVP award this season, dominating on both ends of the floor while tasked with marking the opposition's most dangerous perimeter threat. 

Ibaka averaged 3.7 blocks per game and altered countless shots every time he stepped on the floor.

Paul recorded a ridiculous 2.5 steals per contest and was able to lock down opposing point guards at will.

Allen furthered his reputation as one of the best lockdown defenders in the league.

Howard, on the other hand, deserved to be a second-team player at best. He was a constant distraction to his team and averaged just 2.1 blocks per game (a low number compared to previous seasons). He ended up quitting on his team down the stretch, getting his coach fired and opting to undergo surgery instead of participating in the postseason.

Chandler’s stats may not have been as gaudy, but anyone who watched him play could see the impact he made upon the Knicks defense. Even under Mike D’Antoni—a coach notorious for not caring about defense—Tyson was able to protect the rim and force bad shots by those who dared come against him.

It’s a shame that he was snubbed from the first team, but at least he has the 2012 DPOY trophy to hang his hat on. 

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