The Celtics boasted the No. 1 defense in the NBA through the second half of the 2021-22 season, and two players earned All-Defensive honors to represent Boston on Friday.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart was nearly an unanimous choice for All-Defensive first team, receiving 99 votes, only one voter left Smart off their first and second team ballot. This is the third time in Smart’s career he has been named to an All-Defensive Team. The Celtics guard joined Phoenix Suns guard Mikal Bridges, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. on All-Defensive first team.
Robert Williams III earned a spot on All-Defensive second team, the first such honor of his career. The Timelord joined Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green on All-Defensive second team.
While the Celtics only had two players make All-Defensive teams, every member of the starting five received a vote, as well as Derrick White, who earned three votes for All-Defensive second team.
Jayson Tatum earned one vote for first team and two votes for second team, and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford both earned one vote for first team.
The Celtics rode their No. 1 defense to the Eastern Conference finals where they are currently tied 1-1 with the Heat heading into Saturday’s Game 3 at TD Garden.