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People may believe the Celtics weren't worthy of the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, or that some players are overpaid, but you can't say the team can't defend.

The Celtics ranked in the top half of the NBA in defensive rating, but still not one Celtic was named to the NBA All-Defense teams.

It's strange for a team that feels relentless on the defensive end with Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart harassing ball handlers, and Al Horford anchoring the defense in the paint.

Then, Avery Bradley (who was on the All-Defense first-team last season) locked down guys like Kyrie Irving in crunch time.

Still, none of them, including AB, even made the second-team.

Bradley (46), Smart (21), and Crowder (5) all received votes, plus a lone vote for Isaiah Thomas out of nowhere.

Should they have gotten more? The list of players who made the two teams are elite defenders, for sure, especially when you get into advanced analytics. I'm not someone naive enough to say all three should've made the cut when there's so much talent ahead of them, but players across the association seem to believe Bradley deserved the honor:

But, stats don't completely side with AB this season. The biggest number against him is the 27 games he missed because of injury. Couple that alongside the Celtics defensive rating dropping nearly four points when he was on the court, and it's tough to say he's a lock for the All-Defense teams, like many fans wanted him to be.

Instead, it may just not be his year for the honor.

For the rest of the squad, Smart will continue to develop as a defender, especially if he can keep improving his offense and get more time on the court, and if the Celtics can get a guy to hold down the five-spot, Horford will be able to dominate ball-handlers exclusively at the four.

Do you think any Celtics should've landed on the All-Defense teams? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow Topher Lane on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Mary Schwalm/Boston Herald.

Topher Lane 6/27/2017 12:38:00 PM Edit
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