The NBA released their three All-NBA teams today, and while the no-brainers like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant were all present in the first team, there was one player that stood out like a sore thumb: Joakim Noah. Yes, the DPOY for the 2013-14 season played his best basketball yet, but was he the best overall center this season? Not by a long shot.
Dwight Howard was the best center of the NBA this season. Sure, he was rewarded with a place in the All-NBA second team, but that only speaks to the negativity that surrounds Howard in the press. Seeing as it’s the broadcasters and sports writers who vote on the three teams, one can see that Howard is still suffering from his “Dwightmare” days.
A simple look at the numbers shows exactly how much more dominant Howard has been than Noah this season. Howard’s 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and a PER of 21.36 are all higher than Noah’s 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and PER of 20.06. Of course, not to mention the fact that Howard shot over 59 percent this season vs. Noah’s extremely subpar 47 percent. What’s most impressive is the fact that Howard has those numbers with about two fewer MPG.
But Noah supporters will argue that the Chicago Bulls center brings certain intangibles that Howard doesn’t, perhaps better defense and a much better passing ability. No one will argue against Noah’s passing abilities, as he’s the best passing big man in the game. But even if Noah played better defense this season, was it really that much better than Howard’s to earn him a spot on the first team?
Howard’s production for the Houston Rockets has been leaps and bounds better than his lone season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he absolutely dominated in the playoffs for the Rockets. But the media won’t care how much better Howard has gotten, at least not until they forget about Howard’s childish antics for the last couple of seasons. The Dwight of this season, though, will simply use this ridiculous snub as motivation to play even better next season.
In a season where Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was selected an All-Star, just to later put up 0 point, 0 rebound nights, it’s time to recognize a great center when we have one. Sure, Howard may have acted immaturely in the past, but it’s time to leave it there. His production has been worth recognizing as first-team level. Noah’s selection is simply an insult to Howard.