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!
|10||Metta World Peace||Pacers||2004||73||37.2||3.9||5.3||2.1||0.7||2.7||96.0||5.2|
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.
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.