The 76ers are well-represented on this year’s NBA all-defensive teams.
Since point guard Ben Simmons was runner-up to Utah’s Rudy Gobert for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, it was only a formality that he would earn a berth on the first team.
Simmons, indeed earned a first-team selection for the second straight year, and Sixers teammates Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle were second-team selections.
It was the third time Embiid has earned a second-team selection. He was also a second-team choice in 2018 and 2019.
Thybulle, in his second season, earned his first all-defensive second-team honor, despite averaging just 20 minutes per game. He led the NBA with 3.8 steals per 100 possessions. He also led the NBA with 5.6 deflections per 36 minutes.
Simmons and Gobert received NBA all-defensive first-team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each. Players received two points for a first-place vote and one for a second-place vote from a global panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and a center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position at which they received the most votes.
The 6-foot-10 Simmons is especially valuable defensively because he is capable of defending any position on the court.
Not only did the Sixers have three of the 10 players selected to the two teams, but two former Sixers -- Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Miami’s Jimmy Butler -- were first- and second-team selections, respectively.
Pos Player, team, 1st place, 2nd place, total points
C - Rudy Gobert, Utah, 100, 0, 200
G - Ben Simmons, Sixers, 100, 0, 200
F - Draymond Green, Golden State, 80, 16, 176
G - Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee, 65, 27, 157
F - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee 43, 49, 135
F - Bam Adebayo, Miami 37, 37, 111
G - Jimmy Butler, Miami, 37, 37, 111
C - Joel Embiid, Sixers, 8, 71, 87
G - Matisse Thybulle, Sixers, 3, 57, 63
F - Kawhi Leonard, L.A. Clippers, 8, 27, 43
Korkmaz earned start
Furkan Korkmaz earned the start in Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. He replaced Danny Green in the lineup.
Green was hurt just 3 minutes, 45 seconds into Friday’s 127-111 win at Atlanta in Game 3, suffering a Grade 2 right calf strain. He is expected to miss two to five weeks.
The Sixers’ starting lineup of Green, Simmons, Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry was 27-5 in the regular season and 6-2 this postseason.
Korkmaz had his best playoff game in Friday’s win with 14 points. He shot 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. During the regular season, he made 11 starts and the Sixers were 7-4 in those games.
Hawks change starting lineup
After having the same starting lineup the first three games, Atlanta interim coach Nate McMillan replaced Solomon Hill in the starting lineup with Kevin Huerter. The other four starters -- Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, John Collins, and Clint Capela -- remained the same.
What’s interesting is that Huerter was coming off his worst of the eight games this postseason, with just three points in Friday’s loss to the Sixers.