The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid was named to the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. After also receiving Second Team honors for the 2017-18 campaign, Embiid becomes the fifth 76er in franchise history to be selected to an All-Defensive team in consecutive seasons and the first since Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo (2000-02).
Embiid joins Mutombo (twice), Caldwell Jones (twice) and Hall of Famers Maurice Cheeks (five times) and Bobby Jones (seven times) as the only players in franchise history to receive All-Defensive honors more than once.
Embiid received 80 points, including four First Team votes and 72 Second Team votes. The NBA All-Defensive Teams were selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Embiid finished first on the team and 10th in the league with a career-high 122 blocks. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Embiid is one of eight players leaguewide to block 230-plus shots.
Philadelphia posted a defensive rating of 103.3 with Embiid on the court this season versus 109.1 with him off. The -5.8 differential was the largest in the league among qualifying players who saw at least 2,000 minutes of action. The Cameroon native also had a real defensive plus-minus of 3.71, which was the sixth-best in the league and ranked second among Eastern Conference players.
Selected as an All-Star Game starter for the second straight season, Embiid ranked second in rebounds (13.6) and sixth in blocks (1.9) per game and was one of six players in the league to appear in the top 10 in both categories. The former Kansas standout joined Hall of Famer Moses Malone (1982-83) as the only Philadelphia players to hold such averages across an entire season, since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74.
On Dec. 27, 2018 at Utah, Embiid put up a stat line of 23 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five blocks in a 114-97 76ers victory against 2018 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. He blocked a season-high six shots on Jan. 13 at New York and was a season-high +30 on two occasions. Over the last two seasons, he is one of seven players in the NBA to record multiple games with at least 15 rebounds and five blocks.
Joining Embiid on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team are New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. The NBA All-Defensive First Team consists of Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe and Boston’s Marcus Smart.
Fellow 76ers Jimmy Butler (two – First Team, five – Second Team) and Ben Simmons (two – Second Team) also receivedvotes for 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Teams.
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