Despite all of the talented athletes who make up the NBA, it’s rare to come across a season where there are so many worthy of winning awards. While there are dozens of players who have played their hearts out this year, there is no one more impressive than the Chicago Bulls‘ Joakim Noah. Noah’s defensive prowess has helped propel the Bulls from a lousy start to one of the best in the Eastern Conference, and thus his strong contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award should be expected.
Noah has suffocated opposing offenses with ease down in the paint this season. Statistically, he brings in 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. His talents are so special, that even opposing teams have nothing but good things to say. Recently, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale sung Noah’s praises.
“He’s played very well,” said McHale according to ABC News. “He should be defensive player of the year. He’s done a great job with these guys. They’ve been winning a lot just on his energy and effort, his kind of determination and toughness. Those are all qualities everybody appreciates.”
This would not be the first time Noah’s defensive efficiency has been noticed by the top brass in the league. Noah made the NBA All-Defensive First Team last season. While many Chicago fans are salivating for Noah to win the MVP (and rightfully so), winning the Defensive Player of the Year should not be blown off. This trophy rewards someone’s talent, versatility and undying effort. Especially for a defensive-minded team like the Bulls (currently the second-best defense in the league), winning this award would be monumental.
While an NBA Championship may be a farfetched idea this season (although not completely out of the realm of possibility), the second-best thing would be seeing Noah bring home his trophies and making Chicago proud. While Chicago might not have Derrick Rose, they have the second best thing with Noah on the court.