All-NBA Defense: Allen, Gasol, and Conley Recognized

USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies have announced that Tony Allen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and Marc Gasol and Mike Conley were named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

From the press release:

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive First Team, while Grizzlies guard Mike Conley and Grizzlies center Marc Gasol were selected to the All-Defensive Second Team, the NBA announced today. Allen headlines the First Team with 53 points from the voting panel, leading all NBA players, including 25 First Team votes. Conley received 19 points (four First Team votes) and Gasol totaled 12 points (five First Team votes).

This marks the third career selection to the NBA All-Defensive Team for Allen, who has been honored in all three seasons since joining the Grizzlies, and the first career appearances for both Gasol and Conley.

Memphis is the first team to have three players selected to the NBA All-Defensive Teams since the 2005-06 Detroit Pistons were represented by Ben Wallace (First Team), Chauncey Billups (Second Team) and current Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince (Second Team).

Allen (6-4, 219) recorded 1.51 steals while setting career highs in rebounds (4.6), minutes (26.7) in a career-best 79 games (all starts) in his second consecutive First Team campaign. The nine-year veteran, who was named the best perimeter defender in the league during the preseason in the Annual NBA.com GM Survey, has upped his averages to 2.22 steals (3rd in the NBA) and 6.1 rebounds in 28.6 minutes during the NBA Playoffs.

Conley (6-1, 178) led the NBA with a career-high and single-season franchise-record 174 steals and ranked third in the league in steals per game (2.18). The six-year veteran recorded a steal in a team-record 64 consecutive games from Nov. 16-March 30, the longest streak by any player this season and the third-longest streak in the last 26 seasons behind only Chris Paul (108) and Michael Jordan (77).

Gasol (7-1, 264) was named the 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 7.8 rebounds, 1.74 blocks (12th in the NBA) and 1.00 steals during the regular season. The five-year veteran, who paced the Grizzlies in blocks for the fifth consecutive season, was one of six players to average at least 1.50 blocks and 1.00 steals per game.

With Allen and Conley manning the perimeter and Gasol anchoring the middle, Memphis allowed a league-low 89.3 points per game to opponents, becoming the first NBA team since the 2005-06 San Antonio Spurs and 2005-06 Grizzlies to hold opponents to fewer than 90 points per game. The Grizzlies, who won a franchise-record 56 games this season, held a league-high 71 opponents below 100 points this season, setting a single-season franchise record.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah defense! (That's three of the Grizzlies' starting five. I bet that doesn't make opposing teams excited to play the Grizzlies.)

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