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Celtics’ Avery Bradley first snub from NBA All-Defense Team, NBA Twitter freaks out

When the NBA released the voting results Monday, it turned out Avery Bradley was the first runner-up for the NBA All-Defense team. His teammates and opponents were not pleased.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Avery Bradley solidified his reputation as one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA this year. But, after missing a third of the season, Bradley fell just short of making the All-Defense second team despite 12 first-team votes, the NBA announced Monday.

Bradley was the first runner-up of all players, falling 22 points short of the last guard spot behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green. Tony Allen was the other second team guard with 80 points and 17 first-team votes. Bradley finished a point ahead of Klay Thompson and 8 points ahead of John Wall, each of whom received more first-team votes at 16 and 14, respectively.

Marcus Smart received 21 points (5 first-team votes) while Jae Crowder received 5 points. Players receive 2 points for a first-team vote and 1 point for a second-team vote. Bradley ranked 5th among guards while Smart ranked 8th. Crowder had an up-and-down defensive season, but he received some votes based on reputation, as is often the case with voting for defensive awards.

The case for Bradley missing the second team is fair considering he missed a third of the season, playing just 55 games. However, first-team guard Chris Paul played just 61 while Green and Beverley played less than 70 games as well.

The NBA Twitter fury began with his backcourt partner Isaiah Thomas, livid that his teammates who cover up for his defensive weaknesses didn’t make the second team. His teammates, current and former, jumped on the bandwagon.

Even the opponents he battled came out to bat for him. If Bradley’s rep as an elite defender wasn’t clear before, players around the league—mostly in the Western conference—spoke out to solidify it.

McCollum’s reaction is not surprising after he told CelticsBlog that Avery Bradley is the best on-ball defender in the league earlier this year. That is a widely-held sentiment around the league, but there are only four spots for six elite defenders, so Bradley’s extensive time missed makes his snub understandable.

Ironically, Isaiah Thomas’s defensive reputation appears to have surpassed Al Horford’s.