• Kaunda Chama

The Post Up Zone’s African All-NBA First and Second teams

Last week, the NBA released their lists off All-Rookie, All-Defensive, and All-NBA teams as selected by the media. In light of this, the Post Up Zone decided to put together its African All-NBA first and second teams.

The first team

Gambian-German point guard Dennis Schroder of the Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the top performing backcourt players in the NBA with connections to the African continent. The 2018-19 season saw him move from the Atlanta Hawks to the Thunder where he started 14 of the 79 games he played in, and averaged 29.3 minutes on the floor. Schroder averaged 15.5 points, 3,6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 41.4 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from three-point range and 82.5 percent from the charity stripe.

Despite suffering a season-ending injury in January, Nigerian-American shooting guard Victor Oladipo had enough impact on the Indiana Pacers to secure a spot on the All-Africa First Team. The 2017 NBA Africa Game MVP and two-time NBA All-Star is the leader of the Indiana Pacers and his absence contributed to the team getting an early postseason exit. His numbers included 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from behind the arc and 73 percent from the free throw line.

Nigerian-Greek forward at the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the frontrunners for the 2018-19 regular season MVP accolade, and this alone speaks volumes about his performance during the recently concluded regular season. The three-time NBA All-Star averaged a double-double with 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game to go with 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 68.5 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. Antetokounmpo was also key to the Bucks making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Pascal Siakam, the Cameroonian power forward at the Toronto Raptors is only in his third year in the NBA and has already showcased great growth. He was initially more notable for his defensive prowess, but now is impressive on both ends of the court and has earned himself a starting spot on the team from the north. The 2018-19 season was a standout one for Siakam as he averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, while averaging 31.9 minutes on the hard wood, and shooting 54.9 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 74.3 percent from the charity stripe.

Cameroonian sensation and arguably one of the best centers in the NBA at the moment, Joel Embiid has become synonymous with the Philadelphia 76ers franchise. His dominance and high-level gameplay has positioned him a head above his peers. The two-time NBA All-Star has made the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams twice. This season he averaged a double-double with 24.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and two blocks per game. He appeared and started 64 games and shot 48 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from three-point range and 70 percent from the free throw line.

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The second team

Congolese point guard at the New York Knicks Emmanuel Mudiay, is a young and versatile player with good offensive and defensive skills. He averaged 27.2 minutes on the floor in each of the 59 games he played in last season. Mudiay also averaged 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 44.6 percent from the field.

Algerian-French shooting guard Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic is a great shooter who performs well both on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. His fifth season with the Magic saw his scoring average drop a little to 15.1 points per game, but his rebounding improved to 3.2 rebounds per game and he dished an average of 3.6 assists per game, while shooting 43.8 percent from the field.

Cameroonian-French forward Nicolas Batum of the Charlotte Hornets is a good player impressive offensive and defensive skills and last season averaged 9.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. He shot 45 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 86.5 percent from the free throw line.

Congolese forward Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors is in his 10th season in the NBA and is performing like the notable veteran he is. Not only is he a mentor for the two younger Africans in his team in Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, he is putting up some decent numbers. In the recently ended season he averaged 15 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, which are the second highest since his 2013-14 season at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Congolese/Angolan-Swiss center at the Houston Rockets Clint Capela has just finished his fifth season in the league and coincidentally put up some of the best numbers of his career. He averaged a career-best double-double with 16.6 points and 12.7 rebounds, and added 1.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game to his tally. Capela also shot 64.8 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from the charity stripe.

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