After leading the Bulls to the playoffs as their defensive anchor, Joakim Noah has been awarded the Defensive Player of the Year award.
The NBA has announced that Chicago Bulls centre Joakim Noah has been voted the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season. Noah becomes the second Bulls player to receive the award, joining Michael Jordan, who was selected for the award for the 1987-88 season.
Noah topped the voting in a landslide. The former Florida Gator receiving 555 of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 out of a possible 125 first-placed votes, ahead of Indiana Pacers centre Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-placed votes) and Los Angeles Clippers pivot DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-placed votes).
Votes are cast by a panel of select sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada – five points are awarded for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-placed vote.
“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.”
Noah was the backbone for Chicago’s suffocating defence this season. The Bulls held opponents to a league-low 91.8 points per fame, while restricting opponents to 43.0% field goal shooting (second-best in the league).
Meanwhile, Noah was also a great individual defender throughout the season, ranking sixth in the league for total defensive rebounds (618), eighth in defensive rebounds per game (7.7), ninth in total blocks (121) – his fourth season hitting the 100 block mark – and 12th in blocks per game (1.5). Noah also swiped a career-high 99 pockets during the year.
This season, Noah was one of only three players in the league – the others being Detroit Pistons centre Andre Drummond and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis – to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.
He was also voted to his second All-Star game midseason.
“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.”
The award is not Noah’s first defensive accolade, after being selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2012-13 and Second Team in 2010-11.
Rounding out the voting for the award was:
Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City) – 79 points, two first-placed votes
Andre Iguodala (Golden State) – 47 points, one first-placed vote
LeBron James (Miami) – 31 points, two first-placed votes
Paul George (Indiana) – 30 points
Anthony Davis (New Orleans) – 25 points, one first-placed vote
Dwight Howard (Houston) – 25 points, one first-placed vote
Andrew Bogut (Golden State) – 11 points, one first-placed vote
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio) – nine points
PJ Tucker (Phoenix) – six points, one first-placed vote
Tim Duncan (San Antonio) – five points
Trevor Ariza (Washington) – four points
Marc Gasol (Memphis) – four points
Patrick Beverly (Houston) – two points