The Phoenix Suns had one player receive a vote for NBA All-Defense, but it wasn’t a player you might think like Mikal Bridges or Jevon Carter.
Most Phoenix Suns fans will tell you Mikal Bridges is the best defensive player on the team, however, the Man of Steal received zero votes for NBA All-Defensive teams. Neither did Jevon Carter, who also received no votes, but is likely to be atop the list of players opponents want guarding them. Their teammate, however, did.
Aron Baynes, who gained significantly more notoriety for his superb 3-point shooting than his defensive prowess this season, was one of the forwards who received one vote for All-Defense.
Aron Baynes earned a surprise vote for NBA All-Defense.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the same guy who compared Baynes to a Watchmen superhero earlier in the season, but someone was drunk when they cast this vote.
First of all, Aron Baynes isn’t even a forward. He’s a center. He has always been a center. I know there was that weird Bayton phase Monty Williams went through at one point this season where he played Baynes alongside Deandre Ayton, but that wasn’t a case of Baynes playing power forward, but more of a case Williams playing two centers at the same time.
If we look past that detail, however, Aron Baynes’ best defensive skill is that, well, he’s huge and looks intimidating.
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Among the 11 players who played in at least 30 games and averaged over 15 minutes per contest, Aron Baynes ranked 9th on the team in defensive rating (111.7), with only Dario Saric and Devin Booker with worse ratings.
For what it is worth, Jevon Carter was first in defensive rating and Mikal Bridges was third.
Amongst that same group, Baynes ranked dead last in defensive win shares.
With regard to more traditional stats, Baynes had 0.5 blocks per game, and a team-low 0.2 steals per game.
So yeah, as I said, Aron Baynes is awesome, but whoever voted for him as one of the best 15 defensive players probably threw a dart a corkboard.
Regardless, even if it was just was one vote, it is good to see Phoenix Suns players getting some love. It showed at least some national media watched a few of their games.