UPDATE: Joakim Noah Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

by April 21, 2014

UPDATE: The NBA announced that Joakim Noah is the 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year, with Roy Hibbert and DeAndre Jordan coming in second and third, respectively. From the press release:

“Joakim is many things for our team and he has proven to be a terrific competitor, leader and teammate. But what Joakim truly is, is a winner,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “He will be the first to say that this is a team award, but he sets the tone for our defense and I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of such a prestigious individual honor. We are all very proud of Joakim and want to congratulate him for being named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.”

After finishing fourth in last year’s balloting, Noah collected 555 of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 out of a possible 125 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) came in second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

This season, Noah helped the Bulls hold opponents to a league-low 91.8 ppg, while ranking second in the league in opponent field goal percentage (.430). Individually, he ranked sixth in the NBA in defensive rebounds with 618, eighth in defensive boards per game with 7.7 and ninth in blocks with 121. For Noah, it marked the fourth time in his career that he topped 100 blocked shots in a season. He also registered a career-high 99 steals.

“We are very pleased that Jo has been recognized as the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. It is a richly deserved honor.” said Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “He continues to grow as a player each and every year; he is now a two time NBA All-Star, as well as NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Most importantly, he is being recognized for his contributions to winning.”

Noah tied his career high by appearing in 80 games, as he posted 11.3 rpg (sixth in the NBA), 1.51 blocks (12th) and 1.24 spg. Along with Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, he was one of only three players in the NBA to average at least 10.0 rpg, 1.50 bpg and 1.20 spg. He also ranked fifth in the league in combined blocks and steals with 220.

According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bulls will hold a press conference this afternoon to announce Joakim Noah as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. Noah becomes the second Bulls player since Michael Jordan to win the DPOY award. Per the Chicago Tribune:

The Bulls and the NBA will announce that Joakim Noah is the Defensive Player of the Year at a 4 p.m. news conference, a source familiar with the announcement confirmed.

Noah is the second player in franchise history to win the award, joining Michael Jordan for the 1987-88 season.

Noah’s unique ability to cover ground is critical to the Bulls’ defensive scheme, as is his prowess for switching on to smaller players in screen-and-roll situations. Noah averaged 11.3 rebounds and 1.51 blocks this season.

The award will cap an emotional week for Noah, who lost his youth basketball mentor and second father figure in Tyrone Green unexpectedly last Thursday. Noah will attend Green’s funeral between Games 2 and 3 of the Bulls’ first-round playoff series against the Wizards.