Who Makes the Cut: Theo Bachman’s 2022 All-NBA Ballot

All-NBA is one of the most prestigious honors in the NBA and gives us a look inside a specific season by revealing who the 15 best players were in the NBA. With just ten games remaining for most teams in the NBA, awards season is officially upon us. So here is my official unofficial All-NBA ballot with ten games remaining in the NBA season.

First team

Guard: Ja Morant

The most improved player in the NBA has ascended and taken his Memphis Grizzlies to new heights in 2022. Morant has upped his scoring average by 8.5 points per game and taken Memphis from the play-in to potentially a number two seed. Ja is the brightest star that Memphis has seen and has positioned this young Grizzlies squad to have homecourt advantage until the Western Finals.

Guard: Luka Doncic

It’s hard to find a player that accounts for more of their team’s offense than Luka Doncic. Doncic has the highest usage percentage in the league and plays on the team with the slowest pace. Luka is an assassin in the halfcourt, breaking down the defense and making the right decision time and time again. The midseason trade of Porzingis has only made Luka better, and he has made a late push for the MVP.

Forward: Jayson Tatum

On top of his 27 points per game, Tatum will likely be named first-team all defense. Tatum’s wing defense anchors the Boston Celtics defense rated the best in the NBA. In addition, Tatum leads the entire NBA in defensive win shares. Tatum’s playmaking has taken a leap, and his improved ability reading defenses has been paramount in the Celtics turn around.

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo

We thought we had seen it all with Giannis, but in his age 27 season, he has a chance to win both the scoring title and defensive player of the year in the same season. An under-discussed MVP candidate, Giannis has taken his game up another level and has the Bucks looking like title favorites.

Center: Joel Embiid

The days of Deandre Jordan being left as the first-team all-NBA center is no more. Instead, the position has been revamped and is led by guys like Joel Embiid. Embiid has dominated at both ends and continues to find new ways to create offense for himself. Although Embiid and Jokic will spend the last couple weeks of the season battling for the MVP and a spot on first-team All-NBA, Embiid has a slight edge for now.

Second Team

Guard: Steph Curry

Curry has missed parts of the season, but when he has been available, the Warriors have started to look like the teams of old. With Draymond and Klay coming back for a stretch run, Steph will have a chance to finally capture the elusive Finals MVP. It hasn’t been his best season, but a down year for Steph is still good enough to secure a spot on his eighth all-NBA team.

Guard: Devin Booker

At age 25, Devin Booker has been the most prolific scorer on what is the league’s best team. Booker captures his first All-NBA appearance in 2022. Even after losing Chris Paul, the Suns are remarkably 58-14, and their star player deserves a little more credit.

Forward: Kevin Durant

He hasn’t been on the court as much as he would’ve liked, but Durant has staked his claim for being the best player in the world when he has played. Averaging a career-high in assists, Durant continues to add to his game even as he increases in age.

Forward: Demar DeRozan

DeRozan’s career renaissance began when Coach Popovich moved him to power forward and has continued in Chicago, where DeRozan has become a do-everything lynchpin for the Bulls. DeRozan has hit clutch shot after clutch shot and helped the Bulls to become one of the surprises of this NBA season. A couple of years ago, players like DeRozan were not viewed as valuable. However, this year DeRozan will finish top 5 in voting for the most valuable player in the league award.

Center: Nikola Jokic

He barely misses out on first-team NBA, but the reigning MVP has been nothing short of exceptional in 2022. Playing without his top co-stars, Jokic has stabilized the Nuggets and has them in striking distance as the season dwindles down. He leads the league in virtually every advanced stats, and Jokic leads the NBA in win shares and is second in defensive win shares.

Third Team

Guard: Chris Paul

This year, the Suns have been the best team in the NBA and deserve to have two players on all-NBA. Paul is averaging a double-double for the 7th time in his career.

Guard: Donovan Mitchell

While the Jazz and Mitchell have taken a step back, Mitchell’s 25 points per game are still enough to land him on the third team.

Forward: LeBron James

Being on a rat Lakers team bogs LeBron down to third-team status, but he is still having a remarkable individual season.

Forward/Center: Karl Anthony Towns

Karl Towns is playing the most inspired basketball that we have ever seen. Few players in the league can score more efficiently than KAT. Towns has possessed the skills for years and has developed into one of the greatest shooting big men ever. However, this year Towns has finally tapped into his killer instinct; he’s hunting smaller matchups in the post and talking more shit than ever before.

Center: Bam Adebayo

On the official ballot, it will probably come down to KAT and Bam for one center spot, but I decided to do some gymnastics because it is MY ballot, and basketball is supposed to be positionless now anyways. So it would be a shame for the one seed in the East to get shut out of the All-NBA sweepstakes, so Bam Adebayo takes the last center spot. Adebayo is a game-changing defensive big man for Miami, and his offense is starting to catch up.

Just missed the cut:

James Harden, Trae Young, Darius Garland, Jimmy Butler, Pascal Siakam, Draymond Green

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