Joakim Noah Exemplifies Defense
And now he's receiving official recognition for his defensive prowess.
On Monday, Joakim Noah was named the 2013-2014 NBA Defensive Player Of The Year.
He and his iconic hair certainly deserve to be recognized, because Noah is by far one of the best defenders in the league who just happens to be playing for one of the best defensive units in the NBA.
I wouldn't think many people would argue with this decision.
Unless you're a Indiana Pacer fan.
Roy Hibbert all but had this award locked up before he decided to go AWOL like Rambo. Hibbert still hasn't be able to re-acquire the defensive magnetism that he possessed during the first half of the regular season. For some odd reason, he and his Pacers are going through some sort of weird metamorphosis at the absolute wrong time.
It's not a smart decision to change your genetic composition right before the playoffs begin.
The Chicago Bulls, on the other hand, have been consistent defensively. They entered this season as a suffocating defensive unit and didn't disappoint. The entire team embodies what their coach, Tom Thibodeau, regular preaches. Hustle, discipline, and downright toughness.
And Noah, their defensive catalyst and unquestionable leader, possesses all three traits. His ability to step out and defend smaller guards on pick-and-rolls is exceptionally rare for a player of his size. He covers the basketball court like he's a mother protecting her young from potential predators. He nabs everything that bounces erratically off the rim, and he alters shots with his 'in yo face' defense.
The Bulls' General Manager, Gar Forman, praised Noah, saying, "He's a competitor. He's passionate. He's intelligent, and he's a leader. But along with that, what Joakim probably is is the best teammate that I've had a chance to witness in the 16 years that I've been with the Chicago Bulls."
That's one heck of a pat on the back from a member of your support system.
Reality check. Awards are nice, but after the Washington Wizards -- of all people -- defeated you on your home court, it's time to get back to business.