I expected a close Defensive Player of the Year race that would go to Joakim Noah over Roy Hibbert.
I was half right.
Noah won the award over Hibbert, but the race was not close.
The Bulls center took 100 of 125 first-place votes to just eight each for Hibbert and DeAndre Jordan. Noah’s 555 total points were as many as the next 12 closest finishers combined. Nobody has won this award in such a rout since Dwight Howard in 2011.
Here are the full results with each players first-place, second-place and third-place votes and total points:
- Joakim Noah (Chicago): 100-17-4-555
- Roy Hibbert (Indiana): 8-36-18-166
- DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers): 8-23-12-121
- Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City): 2-17-18-79
- Andre Iguodala (Golden State): 1-7-21-47
- LeBron James (Miami): 2-5-6-31
- Paul George (Indiana): 0-5-15-30
- Anthony Davis (New Orleans): 1-4-8-25
- Dwight Howard (Houston): 1-3-11-25
- Andrew Bogut (Golden State): 1-1-3-11
- Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio): 0-3-0-9
- P.J. Tucker (Phoenix): 1-0-1-6
- Tim Duncan (San Antonio): 0-1-2-5
- Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers): 0-1-2-5
- Trevor Ariza (Washington): 0-1-1-4
- Marc Gasol (Memphis): 0-1-1-4
- Patrick Beverley (Houston): 0-0-2-2
I was a bit surprised Jordan came so close to Hibbert. I guess Doc Rivers’ campaigning paid off – thought not as much as Jordan’s hard work to improve defensively.
Iguodala deserved to be higher, but again, Ibaka received a groundswell of support after losing to Marc Gasol last season, and I suspect that carried into this year.
LeBron got votes on reputation, and funny enough for a second-year player, so did Anthony Davis. Davis built a sterling defensive reputation at Kentucky, but in the NBA, his offense has come much more quickly. He has the tools to deserve consideration for this award down the road, but he’s not that yet.
For the most part, this is a pretty solid list that shows most voters have their act together. However, the two lowest-ranked players to get first-place votes – P.J. Tucker and Andrew Bogut – received the votes from media members in their local markets. That doesn’t make Tucker and Bogut wrong choices, but it at least opens questions about bias.
Overall, there are no truly egregious choices (Tucker’s first-place vote comes closest) – including Noah as the award winner.