Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Second-Team Backcourt: Chris Paul
Say what you want about Paul’s flops, incessant chatter and lack of playoff success. The numbers speak for themselves, and they almost spoke loudly enough to get him a first-team spot.
The point god is one of the greatest to ever play the position, and he was at the peak of his powers for nearly the entire decade. That’s why he left it as one of the leaders in almost every advanced category: fourth in player efficiency rating, fourth in win shares and fifth in box plus/minus. He aced most traditional metrics, too, ranking first in steals, second in assists and 17th in points.
Any shortcomings in team success have probably been overblown. His decade averages in playoff games featured 20.7 points, 8.0 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals. He had a 47.6/37.3/85.6 shooting slash in those contests. Oh, and his teams were a whopping 12.4 points better with him per 100 possessions. He did everything he could to position his club to win games.
Second-Team Backcourt: Russell Westbrook
Westbrook normalized triple-doubles. So, you can call him polarizing, or a stat-chaser, or a shot-chucker; it won’t change the fact that he made triple-dipping a nightly activity.
Save for some spotty shooting percentages, his stats have long been incredible. His decade included two scoring titles and two assist crowns. He had 147 triple-doubles, or 71 more than second place in the category (LeBron James, 76). Westbrook paced the decade in assists, scored the fourth-most points and even corralled the 17th-most rebounds—as a 6’3″ point guard.
He was selected All-NBA eight times, twice earning the first-team distinction. He was named 2016-17 MVP and had three other top-five finishes. His ferocity became the calling card of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and even if they never experienced championship bliss, he still helped steer them to the decade’s second-most victories.
Second-Team Frontcourt: Anthony Davis
As a 6’10” post presence with point guard experience, Davis has been a walking cheat code almost from the start. He blocks shots, buries jumpers, bullies defenders in the post, erases perimeter players on defensive switches, cleans the glass, sets the table—whatever his team needs, he can provide.
He averaged 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and an Association-best 2.8 blocks during his second season. By year three, he became the first player 21 or younger to post a PER north of 30 (30.8; previous high was Shaquille O’Neal‘s 28.5). Davis would go on to post top-25 marks in points (25th), rebounds (22nd) and blocks (fourth) during a decade he didn’t join until its fourth season.
He was unbelievable and clearly a decade great no matter how little the New Orleans Pelicans won with him or how messy his split from them became. He still made six All-Star rosters, three All-NBA teams and three All-Defensive teams, and he thrice landed among the top-10 finishers in MVP voting.
Second-Team Frontcourt: Paul George
Throw out the season he essentially lost to a gruesome leg fracture, and George basically spent the decade evolving from dogged defender to three-and-D ace to two-way star to full-fledged superstar. He was 2012-13’s Most Improved Player, and he had an argument to become the award’s first two-time winner this past season.
George’s rise coincided with that of the Indiana Pacers, and the plucky group picked up five total victories against the Big Three Heat in back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals meetings. George