The NBA All-Defensive First Team was announced on Monday morning before the NBA Awards show at night. According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, the defensive first team of the NBA for the 2016-2017 season goes Draymond Green, as a forward, Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs, as a forward, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz at center, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers as a guard and Patrick Beverly of the Houston Rockets as a guard.

Draymond Green as a First Team All-NBA Defender

Green is quite possibly the most versatile defender in the league with the ability to switch out and guard all five positions from a player like Kyrie Irving to a player such as Rudy Gobert.

It is Green's ability to move his feet and anticipate where passes are going to make him a special and elite defender at his undersized power forward position. It is not just his anticipation, but his will to do whatever it takes to make a defensive stand to let his team get the ball back on offense. He is often called by Warriors broadcasters and analysts "the ultimate team help defender." Now, this is evidenced in several defensive plays he had over the course of the regular season and playoffs.

One such play that typifies Green's effort and ability to not give up an easy basket was a blocked shot on Damian Lillard in the first round of the playoffs.

In this play, Green helps off of his man, Mo Harkless and helps his teammate Kevin Durant from being scored upon and he races across the middle of the key and leaps and blocks Lillard's dunk attempt with his right hand.

What makes this play intriguing is the amount of ground Green had to cover to come over and block Lillard's shot.

Green is the best help defender in the league and it is not close. His quick hands, mind, and ability to outthink the opponent one play, or two plays ahead sets himself apart from the rest of the elite defenders in the league.

Rudy Gobert as a First Team All-NBA Defender

Gobert is one of the most intimidating defenders in the game. Dubbed as the "Stifle Tower" around the league for his length and ability to block and alter shots make him a force defensively when players try to attack the rim against him. It forces defenses to have to rethink their offensive strategy about going to the rim and when Gobert does force kick-outs to perimeter shooters, the other Jazz players contest those shots well enough to make these shooters almost have to drive it to the rim against the big 7'1" Frenchman.

In this past season, Gobert averaged more blocks per game than any season in his short four-year career at 2.6 according to basketball-reference.com. The Jazz big man also averaged the most Rebounds Per Game than any season in his career at 12.8 rebounds per game. Looking at advanced stats, Gobert accounted for 6.0 Defensive Win Shares, which is the most in his career in any season.

Gobert is one of the last true shot-blocking centers in a league full of versatile and "switch everything" defenders, but if his presence on the floor is helping his team win, then there is no problem with him as a first team all NBA defensive selection.

Kawhi Leonard as a First Team All-NBA Defender

Leonard is the second most versatile defender in the league behind Green, who can defend almost all of the positions well with maybe the exception of center.

His basketball IQ and strong and quick hands with the ability to strip point guards from Stephen Curry to Chris Paul and forwards such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He is not nicknamed "the Klaw" for nothing. It is not just his huge hands and the ability to knock the ball free from these incredible players, but it is also Leonard's pursuit of the basketball after he deflects the ball away that puts him in an elite class of defenders in the league.

Although Leonard's rebounding numbers are slightly down from a year ago from 6.8 to 5.8 rebounds per game, his constant pursuit of the ball on the defensive end and offensive end is striking. He is able to snatch down rebounds with his huge oven mitt-like hands.

The total number of steals Leonard recorded this year was four more than what he recorded last year: 132 to 128.

Leonard's ability to read defenses and anticipate where players are passing the ball or when players are going up for the shot puts him in another class of defenders. It also doesn't hurt that he probably has some of the hugest hands in the league.

Patrick Beverly as a First Team All-NBA Defender

Beverly is coined as a hard-nosed defender, get under your skin type of a defender. It makes sense that he is that way because he is not exactly the biggest player on the court is only 6'1" 185 lbs but he makes up for it in the heart. He has a history of making it a personal goal of shutting down the elite point guards in the game such as Curry, Paul, and Wall.

Beverly's willingness to be a pest makes him well deserving of a spot on the first team all NBA defense.

This season, Beverly averaged more steals per game than any of his previous seasons in his career at 1.5 steals per game. He also averaged a career-high 5.9 rebounds per game, which is incredible for a player who is barely 6'1". His defensive win shares at 2.4 this past season have also been a career-best. Out of the few Rockets defenders, Beverly is one of the toughest and hardest working players on the defensive end for a team that struggles to put forth a consistent defensive effort.

Chris Paul as a First Team All-NBA Defender

As almost always the smallest player on the floor, Paul does not give an inch when it comes to playing defense.

He loves to be physical with guards and has quick hands with the ability to swipe the ball away from players such as Durant and Curry. It is also his basketball IQ on the defensive side of the basketball that makes him one of the complete 2-way point guards in the league. He is smart enough to know when an offensive player is going to spin right into him, so he can pick up a steal and anticipate where passes are going to go to.

Despite missing several games to injury, Paul is a deserving first team All-NBA Defender because of his wits, prowess and will to win and do whatever it takes to earn his team another possession. Although he has size limitations, he makes up for it with grit and the ability to put his team in the best position to win.

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