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Picking the All-Defensive Team

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More than any award, with the possible exception of MVP, the All-Defensive Team is really a team award. Both strong individual defenders and a good system are necessary for a quality defense, and the same defender can look far better or far worse depending on players around him. So it's no surprise that six of the 10 players on my All-Defensive first and second teams come from three teams, all of them elite at the defensive end. And it should also be no surprise that the top two contenders among a deep field of Defensive Player of the Year candidates come from the league's top two defenses.