Tag Archives: Joakim Noah

NBA Defensive Superstars

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).

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Should the Chicago Bulls keep Derrick Rose?

Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose won Rookie of the Year back in the 2008-2009 season. He went to three straight NBA All-Star games from 2010-2012 and he was named the NBA MVP in 2011. Since then, Rose has had two season-ending injuries. The former 1st overall pick out of Memphis hasn’t played a game since November 22nd of 2013. He had surgery on the meniscus in his right knee on November 25th, which should rule him out for the rest of the season. Then Rose made an interesting comment on Thursday about his status for this season:

“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I’m going to be back playing,” he said at his first press conference since the injury. (Credit: ESPNChicago.com)

The Bulls ruled Rose out for the whole season, but the injured point guard said that he might return in time for the playoffs. If the NBA season ended today, the Bulls would be the six seed in the Eastern Conference. Should Rose risk another injury by returning for the playoffs, where it gets more physically demanding? I think the Bulls are in an interesting situation here. Rose has had a great young career. He’s only 25 and he has accomplised so much at such an early age. But should Rose keep playing for the Bulls? At this rate, Chicago is paying a man that hasn’t been playing that much in the last two years. Sure he’s a great talent, but how are you going to win an NBA championship without a top point guard? The NBA draft is going to produce some great point guards this year. There’s Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State (who can also play shooting guard) and there’s also Russ Smith from Louisville (who knows how to win big games). If I was Chicago Bulls’ General Manager Gar Forman, I would give Tom Thibodeau a brand new start. Forman already traded  their leading scorer Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers and picked up a bunch of draft picks for it. The Bulls did acquire Andrew Bynum in the trade (great, another injury prone player to add to the roster), but how long will that help the team? Bynum may be a young and talented player, but he is also on the downward spiral of his career. Forman doesn’t believe in rebuilding a team and hey, with a successful franchise like the Chicago Bulls, I don’t blame him. But he does have to think about the future here. Even if Rose does come back, how productive would he be after two knee injuries? I would trade Derrick Rose for a 1st round draft pick to a team like the Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, or even the Los Angeles Lakers (who knows how many years Steve Nash has left in him). Those three teams could produce a good draft pick, so you may not land Marcus Smart or Russ Smith, but you can still get someone pretty good. If it were up to me, I would move on in Chicago. You already gave up your third-best player in Luol Deng and you can’t rely heavily on Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Build a younger team that Thibodeau can coach and the Bulls should be championship contenders about two years from now.