Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has scooped the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
The award recognises his outstanding defensive contributions as a large part of the Bulls continued success this season despite losing Derrick Rose to injury yet again and trading fellow defensive stud Luol Deng in January.
Noah is critical to the Bulls defensive identity. With the dynamic big man on the floor, the Bulls posted a 97.8 Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). The Bulls are also +4 in Net Rating with Noah on the floor compared to -3.6 with Noah on the bench.
Noah also obliterated his previous career-high for rebounds, grabbing 900 boards, 167 more than his previous-best set last season. He also set career-high numbers in scoring, assists and tied his career mark for blocked shots.
Noah’s impact extends to the offensive end too, which although does not impact this award, has at least allowed him to increase his reputation. He has gone from energetic board-crasher to high-post linchpin, finding players on backdoor cuts or coming off a series of screens, essentially turning him into a seven-foot point guard.