If you were anchoring your defense with one center in the NBA right now who would it be?
For the past few years the answer was Dwight Howard, he was the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate (voted on by the media) and NBA All-Defensive First Team, voted on by the coaches. But if you watched the hobbled Howard this year you knew he was going to slip, as was his teammate Kobe Bryant.
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies was the NBA Defensive Play of the Year, but the coaches put two big men ahead of him — Tyson Chandler of the Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Bulls. Those two actually tied for first team, pushing Gasol back to the second team. Clearly, the coaches and media see things a little differently.
Noah becomes the first Bull named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team since some guys named Pippen and Jordan.
By the way, if you want to know why Memphis is still playing, notice there are three Grizzlies on this list.
Here are who the coaches voted for NBA All-Defense:
Forward: LeBron James (Miami)
Forward: Serge Ibaka, (Oklahoma City)
Center: Tyson Chandler (New York)
Center: Joakim Noah (Chicago)
Guard: Tony Allen (Memphis)
Guard: Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers
Forward: Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
Forward: Paul George (Indiana)
Center: Marc Gasol (Memphis)
Guard: Avery Bradley (Boston)
Guard: Mike Conley (Memphis)
OTHER PLAYERS WHO GOT VOTES (listed with the number of points): Andre Iguodala, Denver, 16; Larry Sanders, Milwaukee, 16; Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City, 15; Luol Deng, Chicago, 11; Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers, 9; Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 6; Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 6; Kenneth Faried, Denver, 4; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 4; Shane Battier, Miami, 2; Nicolas Batum, Portland, 2; Corey Brewer, Denver, 2; George Hill, Indiana, 2; Mike James, Dallas, 2; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 2; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 2; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 2; Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers, 2; Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers, 1; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 1; Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, 1; Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota, 1; Iman Shumpert, New York, 1; David West, Indiana, 1.
Yes, Howard got more points and votes than Hibbert.