The NBA just announced that Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. That makes sense, since he was the cornerstone of a great defensive team that finished 1st in points allowed with just 91.8 per game. The Bulls also finished 10th in both rebounds and assists per game. As for Noah individually, he ended the regular season with 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. With those numbers, do you think he truly deserved the Defensive Player of the Year Award? Let’s look at some other guys that could have been deserving for their play this year.
DeAndre Jordan- The L.A. Clippers’ center had a career-defining year. He scored a career-high 10.4 points per game and led the NBA in rebounds with 13.6 per game and in field goal percentage with 67.6 percent. Not only that, but he also had a career-high 2.5 blocks per game, which was 3rd in the NBA. He also average a steal a game, which is pretty rare for a big guy like him. The Texas A&M product should get some high recognition for how he aided superstar teammates like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. This astounding season should not be overlooked and the 25-year-old from Houston, Texas has plenty of years like this ahead.
Anthony Davis- In his second season in the NBA, the 21-year-old from Kentucky is already making noise. Davis finished first in the NBA with 2.8 blocks per game. He also started 66 games and averaged 35 minutes a game, showing that he is an integral part of the New Orleans franchise. His 20.8 points, 10 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game were also very impressive. I’m sure this guy will have a chance to win this award somewhere in the near future.
Paul Millsap- His first season at Atlanta will always be remembered as a memorable one. The former Utah Jazz power forward finished the regular season with a career-high 17.9 points, 3.1 assists and 6.4 defensive rebounds. The new Atlanta Hawk also made his first ever All-Star game appearance after 7 years in the league. He also averaged 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s the only player in the NBA with numbers like that until you get to DeMarcus Cousins who averaged 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. For Millsap, you couldn’t have asked for more production in your first season with a new team.
Andre Drummond- Like Davis, Drummond is also a second-year player out of Connecticut and he has already made a big impact in the NBA. The center for the Detroit Pistons has been a force on the defensive side of the ball with 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. He also had a career-high 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds per game this year. Although the Pistons had a terrible season, it should not overshadow Drummond’s efforts.
I guess the main reason why Noah ultimately won Defensive Player of the Year was because of his impact to the whole team. Chicago has one of the best defenses in the NBA, all because of him. Every night, Noah gives 100 percent effort and that’s why his Bulls are thriving even without scorers like Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. Some other players you could have thrown in the mix for this award could be Chris Paul (led the NBA in steals per game), Serge Ibaka, Paul George, but Noah definitely deserves this award. Now we wait for Rookie-of-the-Year and MVP (which should be Kevin Durant in my opinion).