As the NBA season begins to wind down, talk is beginning to center around the various player of the year awards. Although the ever modest King James said he should be the Defensive Player of the Year last month, most people think that Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert will win the award.
But not everyone is convinced of Hibbert’s defensive dominance. In his weekly mailbag, Sam Smith of Bulls.com breaks down the center’s game and suggest Joakim Noah is a more deserving candidate.
There’s been a season long notion that the Pacers’ Roy Hibbert should be Defensive Player of the Year. I don’t see it. It’s a non-thinking vote based on sort of Greek logic: The Pacers have the best opponent shooting percentage defensively, ergo, they must be the best defensive team and then Hibbert as their center must be the best defensive player. He’s a fine rim protector as a shot blocker. But he’s so immobile you can get him out of position with movement, and he doesn’t come out on the court that well to help. I have him as the Pacers’ third best defender. I’d have Noah ahead of him, though that Defensive Player of the Year has somehow morphed into best defensive center. It shouldn’t be.