Noah became the first Chicago Bull since Jordan and Pippen (in the 1997-98 season) to be named to the NBA All-Defensive first team. The 6’11” Noah, a 28-year-old, five-year veteran, anchors one of the league’s toughest defenses. The Bulls defense ranked third in the league for points allowed (92.9) during the 2012-13 season.
Headlining the 2013 first team are Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, the leading vote-getter, and Miami Heat forward LeBron James. Joining Allen and James are Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaca. New York Knicks center (and former Bull) Tyson Chandler finished in a tie with Noah, who previously made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011.
The 2013 Second Team includes Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and Grizzlies center Marc Gasol.
Noah was in the locker room when reporters caught up with him at the United Center. He was unusually subdued as he reflected on both the award and Game 4, stating, “It would’ve been a lot sweeter if we (the team) had won.”
He was referring to the Bulls’ third consecutive loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was almost as if he would’ve preferred the victory rather than the vote. Not surprising, considering the unselfish type of team player that Noah, one of the best big men in the league, has become.
The voting panel was comprised of the league’s 30 head coaches who picked the NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own teams.
Hollie M. Woods is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. “Like” her on Facebook.