Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard named to NBA all-defense team for seventh time

Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale fouls Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard.
Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale fouls Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard during the first half of Game 1 of a second-round NBA playoff series on June 8 in Salt Lake City.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was named to the NBA’s all-defense second team Monday, the seventh time he has earned all-defense honors during his 10-year career.

Joining Leonard on the second team were Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle and Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

First-team honorees included Utah’s Rudy Gobert, who was recently named the defensive player of the year for a third time, along with Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo.


Among guards who did not make either all-defense team, Clippers All-Star Paul George finished fifth, with 11 points. His total included one all-defense first-team vote. Among the Clippers, only George and Leonard received votes.

Leonard’s 43 points — including eight first-team votes — were fewest among the second-team honorees but earned him his fourth second-team all-defense honor, in addition to his three first-team selections. Leonard was the league’s defensive player of the year in 2015 and 2016.

The Clippers have shown they can finish strong, but they’ll need to eliminate their early-game gremlins to beat the Utah Jazz in the playoffs.