Bulls

Joakim Noah Named Defensive Player Of The Year

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Joakim Noah, left, defends Roy Hibbert. (Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

Joakim Noah, left, defends Roy Hibbert. (Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(CBS) Chicago center Joakim Noah has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in a landslide vote, it was announced Monday afternoon.

Noah earned 100 of a possible 125 first-place votes and accumulated 555 total points. That easily outpaced the Pacers’ Roy Hibbert, who finished second with 166 points and eight first-place votes. The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan was third with 121 points. Players were awarded five points for first-place votes, three for second place and one for third place.

“Each year, he’s gotten better and better, and I think that’s a testament to his will and determination,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s improved in many different areas.

“We were up against it this year, and he didn’t let it fall apart. And that was huge for our team.”

The 29-year-old Noah has had a career year, averaging 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Just as importantly, his smarts and agility allow him to be one of the best pick-and-roll defenders in a pick-and-roll dependent league. That skill set helped Chicago allow a league-low 91.8 points per game and 97.8 points per 100 possessions, which was second-best in the NBA.

Noah also led the NBA with a 6.6 defensive win shares rating.

“This award is a team award,” Noah said before turning to Thibodeau.

“Thibs, you know we’ve definitely had our hard times, our ups and downs. But without your system, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Noah is the second Defensive Player of the Year in franchise history. Michael Jordan won the award in 1988.

Chicago trails Washington, 1-0, in their Eastern Conference first-round series. Game 2 is set for Tuesday at the United Center.

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