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Joakim Noah runs away with Defensive Player of the Year

Apr 21, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

I expected a close Defensive Player of the Year race that would go to Joakim Noah over Roy Hibbert.

I was half right.

Noah won the award over Hibbert, but the race was not close.

The Bulls center took 100 of 125 first-place votes to just eight each for Hibbert and DeAndre Jordan. Noah’s 555 total points were as many as the next 12 closest finishers combined. Nobody has won this award in such a rout since Dwight Howard in 2011.

Here are the full results with each players first-place, second-place and third-place votes and total points:

I was a bit surprised Jordan came so close to Hibbert. I guess Doc Rivers’ campaigning paid off – thought not as much as Jordan’s hard work to improve defensively.

Iguodala deserved to be higher, but again, Ibaka received a groundswell of support after losing to Marc Gasol last season, and I suspect that carried into this year.

LeBron got votes on reputation, and funny enough for a second-year player, so did Anthony Davis. Davis built a sterling defensive reputation at Kentucky, but in the NBA, his offense has come much more quickly. He has the tools to deserve consideration for this award down the road, but he’s not that yet.

For the most part, this is a pretty solid list  that shows most voters have their act together. However, the two lowest-ranked players to get first-place votes – P.J. Tucker and Andrew Bogut – received the votes from media members in their local markets. That doesn’t make Tucker and Bogut wrong choices, but it at least opens questions about bias.

Overall, there are no truly egregious choices (Tucker’s first-place vote comes closest) – including Noah as the award winner.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    When I clicked this link I was hoping for a Vine of Noah physically absconding with the DPOY trophy.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Well deserved. Joakim Noah is the heart and soul of that Defense. They would have been in a world of trouble without him. Probably would have been a Lottery team without Joakim.

      • moseskkim - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        in the east, they probably wouldve been an atlanta/charlotte without noah. their big turnaround came with dj augustin. doesnt take away from the fact that noah was a beast for his 80(!) games this year. well deserved award although nene is doin some stuff hehe

      • chicagosports2014 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        Congratulations Joakim Noah!!!!! THANK YOU, NOW GO GET YOUR BONUS.

    • chicagosports2014 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Joah DID It, I also picked him for MVP.

  2. savvybynature - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    There were a couple egregious votes imo. Gasol missed too much time for consideration, PJ Tucker got a vote for 1st, seriously(?!!?), and Anthony Davis is not a top defender in the league… yet.
    Overall pretty good though.

  3. antistratfordian - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    LeBron received votes because he’s a good defender, not just on reputation. He’s still the only defender in the league that does everything he does on a nightly basis. I know people would point to his reduced on/off or synergy numbers and things like that, but LeBron has indeed played great defense this year. He’s completely dominated several games defensively.

    But the odd thing about this award recently is that the recipients have not been matching up with who the public, the fans, or the GMs, would say is the best defender in the league. That could be different with Noah, but I’m not so sure.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:16 PM


    • abchome - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      How do you know who the public, the fans, or the GMs pick?

    • money2long - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Ur gonna have lebron’s wife come after u pretty soon with a restraining order

      • casualcommenter - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        Lol. His comment of, “All the stats say LeBron coasted on defense this year, but he really was a great defender this season!” reminds me of another one…

        “The NBA will apologize for not calling the Plumlee block on LeBron a foul. I guarantee it.” – antistratfordian

        “We reviewed it, and it wasn’t a foul.” – NBA

        “The NBA doesn’t know the rules, that’s a foul.” – antistratfordian

      • antistratfordian - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        I wouldn’t mind her coming and looking for me. LeBron might mind though… if he wants to stay married.

  4. dablakdrphil - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Congrats to Noah for winning the DPOY award. He definitely deserves it for putting this team on his back after D. Rose was lost for the season again.

  5. newyorkball82 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Noah 100% deserves it. That team wouldn’t be where they are without him.

  6. jzone954 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Congrats to Noah, great player with a big time motor , and the fact that you hate the Miami heat makes it that much better because we OWN you. Yes…WE

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      18 thumbs downs = owned

  7. Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Did this screw the Bulls on their luxury tax situation yet, or does somebody else still need to hit an “unlikely” incentive?

    • calkinsrob - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      I think when The jazz claimed murphy off waivers the bulls could afford some of these incentives and remain under the limit. But i think Taj has an all-defensive team incentive, and Joakim might get more $ if he gets first team all-nba. who knows.

      Im pretty sure they can afford them without paying the tax tho.

      • goodtogo28 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        noah get half a million. taj very unlikely to make all defense and won’t get the 500k. chicago stays under the tax.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        That’s right, I remember reading that.

        So apparently, the tax line this year is set at $71,748,000. Bulls were at $71,023,129 prior to this, and IIRC Noah’s DPOY bonus was $500k. Bulls have less than $225k to play with now. Kind of hope they get burned after how the Deng situation played out.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Doesn’t Noah also have a First Team All-NBA, or was that an either/or with DPOY?

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        First Team All-NBA bonus, that is.

      • calkinsrob - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        im not sure if he gets another incentive. All i heard about was the 500K so i dont think hell get another bonus. deng trade was a good one for the bulls. Im happy they did it because it didnt seem like we had a chance to give him teh money he wants/deserves.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        So you throw away a player who can still help you this year for a couple of crappy draft picks and some salary relief? That move makes sense on a bad team, not someone vying for positioning in the playoffs.

      • chicitybulls - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        @ Kevin – This team isn’t a championship contender with or without Deng. Trading him was just a part of the business and helps to set themselves up for the future.

  8. redbaronx - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I called it! No contest. Noah’s defense goes well beyond stats. He’s disruptive in the lanes and constantly moving.

    I heard people talking Taj and LeBron on these posts. Complete nonsense! Noah is a one man wrecking crew on D.

    Well deserved!

  9. 00maltliquor - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    It seems like Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley and Anthony Davis got jobbed a little as far as placing goes. NOT saying they should have won but they should have had more votes. Maybe I’m just nit-picking.

  10. 00maltliquor - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Much props to Noah. Thankfully we didn’t have a travesty like last years DPOY.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Mockery of a sham.

  11. reastnt - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    P.J. Tucker got two votes, including a first-place vote??? Was his mother eligible to vote?

    • reastnt - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      Ah, the voting details are here: The two votes for P. J. Tucker come from voters affiliated with “KTAR Radio.” In Arizona. For the Phoenix Suns player. I wonder what Tucker paid them.

  12. 12444uggg - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    The right guy got it, but Roy totally chocked it away.

  13. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Congrats Noah!

  14. rodge1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Kobe and his contract played the best shut-down-defense consistently all season, even though it was on the Lakers organization as a whole.

  15. naterich21 - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    So that means Noah is going to be NBA All-Defensive Second Team right?

  16. joebone - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Roy Hibbert a close second? What have you been watching?

  17. robertb655 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Congrats Noah!

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