Anthony Davis named to All-NBA First Team, John Wall earns third team honors

Former Kentucky All-Americans and No. 1 NBA Draft picks Anthony Davis and John Wall were recognized for their fantastic seasons in the NBA on Thursday. Davis was named to the All-NBA First Team for the second time in his career (2015) and Wall was tabbed to the All-NBA Third Team for the first time.

Davis was joined on the All-NBA First Team by James Harden, the lone unanimous first team selection, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard. Joining Wall on the third team was Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan and DeAndre Jordan.

Anthony Davis was named to the All-NBA First Team for the second time in the past three seasons. (photo by Barry Westerman, UK Athletics)

Karl-Anthony Towns narrowly missed third team honors as the top player in the “others receiving votes” section. DeMarcus Cousins was the fourth player listed in that section.

A global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters chose the All-NBA teams. The media voted for All-NBA first, second and third teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis. Voters were asked to select two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, picking players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.

Davis averaged a career high in scoring (28.0 points per game) and rebounding (11.8 rebounds per game). He finished the regular season ranked fourth in scoring and seventh in rebounding, and was the only player in the NBA to rank in the top seven in both categories. Davis was second in the NBA in blocks, swatting 2.23 shots per game, the second highest clip of his career. The 2012 national player of the year had 49 double-doubles this year with the New Orleans Pelicans, which was tied for the eighth most in the league.

Davis was named the NBA All-Star Game MVP this year after setting a scoring record with 52 points. The 6-foot-11 forward had a number of jaw-dropping games, including the beginning of the season when he scored 50 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the season opener, followed by 45 points and 17 rebounds in the second game of the season. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he was the first player to score at least 90 points in the first two games of a season since Michael Jordan in 1986-87.

Davis is the fifth player in UK’s history to earn multiple All-NBA honors in a career. Davis joins Cousins, Ralph Beard, Alex Groza and Cliff Hagan as two-time honorees. He joins Groza as the lone two-time first team honoree.

John Wall was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the first time in his career. (photo by Aaron Borton, UK Athletics)

It was a special season for Wall, who became the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, two steals and 0.5 blocks per game. Wall averaged a career-high 23.1 points per game and dished out a career-high 10.7 assists per game en route to leading his Washington Wizards to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Wall, the first No. 1 draft pick in Kentucky basketball history, finished in a tie for 18th in the NBA in scoring and was second in assists. His 2.01 steals per game also ranked second in the league and his 50 double-doubles were the seventh most.

Wall raised the level of his game even higher in the postseason, averaging 27.2 points, 10.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in 13 games. Already the Wizards’ franchise record-holder for assists in a career, Wall broke the franchise’s single-season record this year when he dished out 831 assists. He also broke the franchise’s single-game assists record when he had 20 versus the Bulls on March 17.

Towns built off his fantastic Rookie of the Year campaign with even more impressive numbers in his second year. The Minnesota Timberwolves center averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. He became the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and knock down 100 3-pointers in a single season. Towns finished the year tied for 12th in scoring, sixth in rebounding and tied for second in double-doubles (62).

Cousins, who had been named to the All-NBA Second Team each of the past two seasons, averaged 27.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Cousins teamed up with Davis to form one of the most formidable frontcourts in the entire NBA when he was traded to the Pelicans following the NBA All-Star break. The former No. 5 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft finished in a tie for sixth in the league in scoring, ninth in rebounding, 16th in blocks and 10th in double-doubles (46).

The NBA’s remaining 2016-17 award winners will be revealed during the inaugural NBA Awards on TNT on June 26 at 9 p.m. ET at Basketball City in New York. The finalists for the awards will be unveiled during a special 90-minute edition of TNT’s NBA Tip-Off Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year.