The NBA Playoffs are here and that means non-stop basketball until June. Recapping this NBA season would be kind of difficult considering all of the moving pieces. What we do know though is that the Milwaukee Bucks finished with the best record in the NBA and the Detroit Pistons finished with the worst. This year there was an influx of talent from every team this year, but only the best will be named to the 2023 All-NBA Teams.
With LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant hurt this year, it will be really interesting to see where those players get put on to the 2023 All-NBA Teams. That is the question that I am hoping to answer here.
All-NBA Teams 2023 Release Date
The regular season is over and the first round of the NBA Playoffs is well underway, so when will we know the 2023 All-NBA Teams? The All-NBA Teams 2023 release date will be during the Conference Finals.
Currently, the NBA Conference Finals are scheduled to begin May 16-17, but there is potential to move the start to May 14-15. Expect the 2023 All-NBA Teams to be announced during the Conference Finals at some point.
Predicting the 2023 All-NBA Teams
All-NBA First Team
Guards: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Forwards: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Center: Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
The hardest decision for this article was picking a First-Team center. Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are both the leaders in the odds for the NBA MVP. The center position on this team will likely go to the player that wins the MVP. Using history as an example, I would guess that Jokic does not win three straight MVPs. That alone should allow Embiid to get the award. It is rightfully deserved too, as the 76er led the NBA in scoring this year (33.1).
The forwards on the team are pretty self-explanatory. Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to average 45-20-5 over a three-game stretch. He had another career year this season and should be thought of more for the MVP. As for Jayson Tatum, the Duke alum had his best year as a pro, averaging 30.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. He once again led the Boston Celtics to a high seed in the playoffs and figures to be that impactful in the postseason.
The guards on this team were very interesting to pick from because there are probably five, maybe six guards that can make their case for First Team. Luka Doncic has to be included in this list. With the season being 82 games, many use recency bias when voting, but Doncic was probably the MVP throughout the first half of the season. I am giving my vote to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Thunder guard upped his scoring from 24.5 ppg last year to 31.4 this year. He led the Thunder to the Play-In Tournament, something that seemed impossible at the start of the year.
All-NBA Second Team
Guards: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Forwards: Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets/Phoenix Suns)
Center: Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
As I stated before, whoever wins the MVP will be the All-NBA First Team Center, while the loser will be on the Second Team. It sucks for Jokic, who finished 0.2 rebounds per game away from averaging a triple-double this year. Even still, Jokic saw a decline in scoring, but an increase in assists, while leading the Nuggets to the top seed in the West.
Julius Randle, with help from Jalen Brunson, has revitalized basketball in New York. The Knicks are no longer a laughing stock and are now a team that is probably a piece away from contending. Randle averaged a double-double this year on 46% shooting from the field. He was also selected for the All-Star game. Kevin Durant is still the best scorer on the planet. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but it would be tough for Durant to make the First Team after missing games this year between his trade and injury. He also became the first player in NBA history to shoot at least 55% from the field, 40% from three and 90% from the free throw line.
For guards, Damian Lillard has to be on this list. Is it right that he is here over Steph Curry? I think the jury is out on that one. Even though Portland sucks, Lillard was able to notch his second 30+ point per game season, at 32.2 ppg in 58 games. Let’s transition to his counterpart of this All-NBA Team and the only other player to score 70+ points in a game this season, Donovan Mitchell. After he was traded to Cleveland, Mitchell logged his best season as a pro, scoring 28.3 ppg and leading the Cavs to the four-seed in the East.
All-NBA Third Team
Guards: Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors), De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings)
Forwards: Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
Center: Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
Domantas Sabonis led the NBA in rebounding this year, which is a pretty good stat to lead. Both he and his teammate De’Aaron Fox have to be recognized here for leading the Kings to their first playoffs since 2007. It becomes an even bigger story when you realize they are the three-seed in the West.
If it weren’t for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lauri Markkanen would probably run away with Most Improved Player this year. The Utah big man started the season hot and made many think that Utah could make the playoffs without Quin Snyder, Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert. Markkanen averaged 25.6 ppg on 50% shooting from the field this season. My vote for the second forward spot goes to LeBron James, who set a new NBA record for most career points this year. Much like Durant, James could be higher on this list, but the lack of games played hurts him here.
Finally, the case to be made for Steph Curry making a 2023 All-NBA Team is that the Warriors are back in the playoffs and look like they could win another championship. Curry averaged 29.4 ppg this season on 49% shooting from the field. Due to missing time, Curry finished just third in made threes this season, behind Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield.
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