Joakim Noah expected to be named NBA defensive player of the year

Joakim Noah, Zaza Pachulia
Chicago center Joakim Noah defends against Milwaukee center Zaza Pachulia.
(Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)

Joakim Noah will join Michael Jordan as the only Chicago Bulls players to win the NBA’s defensive player of the year award, the Associated Press reported.

The official announcement of the award is expected to come from the Bulls at a 2 p.m. PDT news conference.

Jordan won the honor in 1988.

The award comes for Noah after a season in which he emerged as an offensive force after primarily being known for his defense and rebounding.


However, even as he has become an offensive focal point for the Bulls, Noah remains their defensive anchor, averaging 1.5 blocked shots a game and creating havoc by rotating onto smaller players in pick-and-roll situations.

The news comes at a tough time for Noah, whose mentor, Tyrone Green, died recently. Noah returned to practice Saturday after flying to New York on bereavement leave to spend time with Green’s family.

Noah, who also will attend the Thursday funeral between Games 2 and 3 of the Bulls-Wizards playoff series, had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 102-93 loss to Washington on Sunday.



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