In light of a lackluster 2012-2013 Chicago Bulls season; Center Joakim Noah is in serious consideration to win the coveted defensive player of the year award. Noah has played 5.5 seasons in a Bulls uniform, and my what a glorious year this has been for him. Jo is averaging a career high of 12.0 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.3 BLKPG, and 1.3 steals.
Noah ranks second in defensive win shares with 4.1 and he has the leagues fifth best defensive rating of 97. (A defensive rating is an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.) Jo is just the second center to record a triple double with blocks and a triple double with assists in one season. The first center to ever do so was the Legendary Hakeem Olajuwon back in 1989.
Ever since Coach Tom Thibodeau’s arrival back in 2010, the Bulls have been one of, if not the best defensive team in the association. This year Thibs’ Bulls rank third in defensive points per game and they have place fourth overall in defensive rating.
We have entered a new generation of centers. Rather than focusing on just strength and power to maintain such a restricted area; it’s all about using your body. It’s length, speed and agility, and quickness to spread the floor and cover the front court; making sure the ball stays out of the paint and going back to basics; always defend the rim. And to think the league wants to eliminate the center position off the All-Star ballot?
Noah is competing against a list of superb defenders for this award. Such as: Tim Duncan; 9.6 RPG, 94 defensive rating, 2.7 BLKPG, 0.8 STLPG. Marc Gasol; 7.8 RPG, 98 defensive rating, 1.7 BLKPG, 1 STLPG. Roy Hibbert; 8.1 RPG, 95 defensive rating, 2.6 BLKPG 0.5 STLPG.
Other players in consideration are; Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks, OKC’s Serge Ibaka, Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith, and of course the Lakers’ Dwight Howard who has won it three of the last four years. Unfortunately the reigning DPOY champ Tyson Chandler is not as threatening as he was last year. Sadly injuries are plaguing the New-York Knicks this season.
Clearly Noah’s numbers prove that he is very deserving of this award. In fact if it wasn’t for the first time All-Star’s mega year, Chicago would be considered a lottery team and not a 6th-7th seed playoff team.
No Bull has won the DPOY award since Michael Jordan in 1988, that’s a 25 year long drought that someone in the Thiboudeau Era should end. All eyes are on you Noah.