The NBA named Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic to the 2013-14 All-NBA Third Team on Wednesday, and Dragic even earned a single first team vote from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) June 4, 2014
This season, the NBA’s 2014 Most Improved Player averaged 20.3 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. It was the first time a guard has reached those efficient benchmarks since Drazen Petrovic did so in 1992-93. Add in Dragic’s 5.9 assists per game, and he joins an exclusive club of LeBron James, Larry Bird and Suns coach Jeff Hornacek of players in NBA history who have scored more than 20 points, dished five or more dimes, and shot better than the 50-40 percentages.
“Goran had a great year for us, and we’re really happy for him and really proud of him,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said Wednesday as the Suns worked out another group of NBA Draft prospects. “To make one of the top three All-NBA teams essentially saying that he was one of the top-15 players in the league this year. That’s quite an honor, especially when you take a look at the other great players on that list.
“We felt like he deserved to be an All-Star,” McDonough added. “He didn’t make the team mainly due to the depth of talent in the Western Conference, especially in the backcourt. But we’re certainly happy that he made [the All-NBA third team].”
Dragic is the first Suns player to make any of the three teams since Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire made the second team en route to Phoenix’s 2010 Western Conference Finals appearance.
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Chris Paul and James Harden made the first team at guard, and Stephen Curry and Tony Parker finished were selected to the second team. Dragic was joined on the third team by guard Damian Lillard, who likewise earned 115 total points.
“He deserved it,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said of Dragic. “He played great this year, and I think people around the league saw what kind of player he is and will be for years to come.”
The voting done by 125 NBA media members allowed for first, second and third teams to be chosen with point values of five, three and one assigned the three respective teams. Kevin Durant was the only unanimous first team member and finished with 625 points. LeBron James was two points short of the 2014 MVP and earned all but one first team nod.
Quotes provided by Dave Dulberg.
F: Kevin Durant (625 points, 125 first-team votes)
F: LeBron James (623, 124)
C: Joakim Noah (551, 101)
G: Chris Paul (540, 86)
G: James Harden (502, 73)
G: Stephen Curry (489, 65)
G: Tony Parker (210, 14)
F: Blake Griffin (350, 5)
F: Kevin Love (237, 2)
C: Dwight Howard (226, 9)
C: Al Jefferson (191, 4)
F: Paul George (171, 4)
F: LaMarcus Aldridge (159, 2)
G: Goran Dragic (115, 1)
G: Damian Lillard (115, 2)
Other players receiving votes (points) : Carmelo Anthony, New York, 86 (1 First Team vote); John Wall, Washington, 70; Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 63 (1); DeMar DeRozan, Toronto, 56; Anthony Davis, New Orleans, 40 (1); Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, 37 (1); Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 32 (1); Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 29; DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers, 21; Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 17; Marc Gasol, Memphis, 16 (2); DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento, 14 (1); Kyrie Irving, Cleveland, 7; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 6; Mike Conley, Memphis, 4; Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City, 4; Zach Randolph, Memphis, 4; Joe Johnson, Brooklyn, 4; Lance Stephenson, Indiana, 3; Ty Lawson, Denver, 2; Paul Millsap, Atlanta, 2; Chris Bosh, Miami, 1; Andre Drummond, Detroit, 1; Monta Ellis, Dallas, 1; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 1.