Wallace, Bowen headline first team all-defensive team

NEW YORK -- There's a good chance Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs guard Bruce Bowen will be facing off for the NBA championship next month. On Thursday, they were named teammates.

Wallace, a four-time and reigning defensive player of the year, and Bowen highlight the 2005-06 NBA All-Defensive Team.

Making his fifth consecutive appearance on the all-defensive first team, Wallace is joined by leading vote-getter Bowen, who was named to the all-defensive team for the sixth consecutive season.

Also selected to the first team were forwards Andrei Kirilenko of the Utah Jazz; 2003-04 defensive player of the year Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings; and guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets, receiving their sixth and seventh all-defensive honors, respectively.

Kirilenko is making his third all-defensive team appearance while Artest was named to the all-defensive team for the second time. Bryant and Kidd tied in votes received to round out the first team.

Usually assigned to the opposing team's biggest offensive threat, Bowen's stellar one-on-one defense helped the Spurs hold opponents to 88.8 points per game, second in the league. Bowen received 26 first-team votes and 55 points. Wallace was also named on 26 first-team ballots and had 54 points.

Wallace was the only player in the league to finish in the Top 10 in rebounding (11.3, fourth), blocks (2.2, ninth) and steals (1.8, 10th).

Kirilenko, who had 44 points, led the league with 220 blocks this season and finished second in blocks per game (3.2). Artest earned 30 points and Bryant and Kidd each had 28 in voting among the league's 30 coaches.

Denver's Marcus Camby, Detroit's Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Garnett of Minnesota and San Antonio's Tim Duncan were named to the second team.