Joel Embiid is in elite defensive company in 76ers history.
The NBA announced Wednesday that the center made the NBA all-defensive second team for the second straight year. The two-time All-Star becomes the first Sixer since Dikembe Mutombo in 2000-01 and 2001-02 and the fifth overall to be named to consecutive All-Defensive teams.
Embiid received 80 points — four first-team votes and 72 second-team votes — from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. A player gets two points for a first-team vote and one point for a second-team vote.
Embiid was one of the league’s top rim protectors, finishing with a career-best 122 blocks, which ranked 10th in the league. His presence made the Sixers a better defensive team.
Philly had a defensive rating of 103.3 with him on the court, compared to 109.1 without him. The 5.8 difference was the largest margin among qualifying NBA players with at least 2,000 minutes of action.
The first-team selections were Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), and Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee).
Embiid was joined on the second team by Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans), Klay Thompson and Draymond Green (Golden State), and Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors).
Sixers swingman Jimmy Butler received two first-team votes and five second-team votes, and Ben Simmons received two second-team votes.