Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah to be awarded NBA's Defensive Player of the year (+ a historical look at the award)

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

the man who plays with emotion, heart, and gets called for technical fouls has been awarded for his efforts.

The NBA will be awarding Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah the 2014 Defensive player of the year award. So, clearly, this is a product of both reputation and production. You need both to win an end of season award, and Noah has played his butt off. It took a while for the voters to get with the program, but this kid has a very demonstrative season. But how good was it compared to other DPOY winners? Let's take a look back at the last two decades of the award and try to see where he fits!

Player Team Season G MPG DRPG TRPG SPG BPG PFPG DRTG DWS
1 Dikembe Mutombo Nuggets 1995 82 37.8 8.7 12.5 0.5 3.9 3.5 103.0 5.2
2 Gary Payton Sonics 1996 81 39.0 2.9 4.2 2.9 0.2 2.7 102.0 5.6
3 Dikembe Mutombo Hawks 1997 80 37.2 8.3 11.6 0.6 3.3 3.1 97.0 6.6
4 Dikembe Mutombo Hawks 1998 82 35.6 8.0 11.4 0.4 3.4 3.1 99.0 5.2
5 Alonzo Mourning Heat 1999 46 38.1 7.4 11.0 0.7 3.9 3.5 93.0 3.9
6 Alonzo Mourning Heat 2000 79 34.8 6.8 9.5 0.5 3.7 3.9 96.0 5.6
7 Dikembe Mutombo 76ers 2001 75 34.5 9.1 13.5 0.4 2.7 2.7 97.0 4.7
8 Ben Wallace Pistons 2002 80 36.5 9.0 13.0 1.7 3.5 2.2 93.0 7.2
9 Ben Wallace Pistons 2003 73 39.4 11.4 15.4 1.4 3.2 2.5 90.0 7.9
10 Metta World Peace Pacers 2004 73 37.2 3.9 5.3 2.1 0.7 2.7 96.0 5.2
11 Ben Wallace Pistons 2005 74 36.1 8.2 12.2 1.4 2.4 2.1 94.0 6.7
12 Ben Wallace Pistons 2006 82 35.2 7.6 11.3 1.8 2.2 2.0 95.0 6.9
13 Marcus Camby Nuggets 2007 70 33.8 9.3 11.7 1.2 3.3 2.6 97.0 5.1
14 Kevin Garnett Celtics 2008 71 32.8 7.3 9.2 1.4 1.3 2.3 94.0 6.2
15 Dwight Howard Magic 2009 79 35.7 9.9 13.8 1.0 2.9 3.4 95.0 7.6
16 Dwight Howard Magic 2010 82 24.7 9.7 13.2 0.9 2.8 3.5 95.0 7.1
17 Dwight Howard Magic 2011 78 37.6 10.1 14.1 1.4 2.4 3.3 94.0 7.7
18 Tyson Chandler Knicks 2012 62 33.2 6.5 9.9 0.9 1.4 3.0 99.0 3.6
19 Marc Gasol Grizzlies 2013 80 35.0 5.5 7.8 1.0 1.7 3.2 98.0 5.4
20 Joakim Noah Bulls 2014 80 35.3 7.7 11.3 1.2 1.5 3.1 96.0 6.6
Player Average All All 75.5 35.5 7.9 11.1 1.2 2.5 2.9 96.2 6.0

Well, on first glance he looks very average. His blocks are a little low, but he's really the lode stone for figuring out if you are DPOY or not. The obvious bias here is that bigmen who rebound and block shots make the biggest impacts in the minds of the voters. Because we are long suffering Utah Jazz fans, though, we need to see if our guy Favors is anywhere near this standard.

Player Team Season G MPG DRPG TRPG SPG BPG PFPG DRTG DWS
Player Average All All 75.5 35.5 7.9 11.1 1.2 2.5 2.9 96.2 6.0
Derrick Favors Jazz 2014 73.0 30.2 6.0 8.7 1.0 1.5 3.2 107.0 2.3
-2.5 -5.3 -1.9 -2.4 -0.2 -1.0 0.3 -10.9 -3.7

The answer is "no".

The big thing here is that these guys who do win this award play more 35 mpg. So you have to stay on the floor for that long without being in foul trouble. Part of that is reputation. Part of that is 'getting better'. (Thank you Tyrone Corbin!) The other issue is that Favors, if he's going to be in contention for this, needs to board more and block more. The majority of the guys who do win the award are fully invested on defense. The Jazz need favors to be a two way player. The other point here is that unless you are a center -- you are most likely not winning. Favors will have to play the role of that rim protecting center if he wants a chance. If he moves to PF and has to defending people facing up all day long he'll never win it.

I think there's evidence there that you don't need to be 7'0 tall to do the job. But it helps.

Perhaps in the future I'll go back and revisit this and see how well these players did in their 4th year, and look at their defensive rates, and not just their defensive outputs.

All in all, great to see Noah win this. It will be interesting to see if Favors can elevate his game to be a future DPOY player. (And yeah, a lot of that is on Favors. Some of that will come with defensive coaching strategies to make him appear his best / use him at his best).

I think Favors has the tools. We'll see what happens in the future.

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