Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges named to NBA’s 1st Team All-Defense

May 20, 2022, 5:14 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns steals the ball from Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks ...
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns steals the ball from Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 10, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 110-80. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges was named to the NBA’s First Team All-Defense, the league announced on Friday.

He finished with the second-most points (193) and First Team votes (95) behind Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart’s 198 points on 99 First Team votes.

It is a first-time honor for Bridges after he finished 11th in voting for last season’s All-Defense teams.

Bridges also finished second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year after he cemented himself in his fourth season as one of the league’s best overall defenders.

The 25-year-old is known for his ability to defend primary ball-handlers, ranging from players like the bigger and stronger Luka Doncic to the smaller and more agile Ja Morant.

The wing achieved stellar defensive performances while leading the league in total minutes at 2,854. Bridges also now holds the NBA’s longest current ironman streak of consecutive games played at 309, as he has yet to miss a game in his career.

Bridges is the first Suns player since Raja Bell in 2007 to make First Team All-Defense.

He is only the ninth player in franchise history to earn a spot on either the first or second team, joining Paul Silas, Dick Van Arsdale, Don Buss, Dennis Johnson, Dan Majerle, Jason Kidd, Clifford Robinson and Bell.

Silas, Buss, Johnson and Kidd all are tied for the franchise record of three total appearances on either team. Buss’ and Johnson’s were all on the first team.

Bridges is joined on the NBA’s First Team All-Defense by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart.

The second team is comprised of Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Matisse Thybulle and Robert Williams III.

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