Dear Stupid (and you people saying Joakim Noah is the Defensive Player of the Year know who you are):
I heard it from Kevin McHale when the Bulls beat the Rockets recently. Stop it.
I heard it again during the TV broadcasts of Bulls’ struggle against the 76ers last week. Please. Nothing that happens against a team that has lost 24 straight should be used as an argument for any award.
I don’t believe, however, that I heard the Noah campaign pounding its message while the Pacers were pounding the Bulls into embarrassment in the third quarter Friday night.
The Bulls took a 45-44 lead to open the period, and then proceeded to gag, stink and die for the next four minutes. The Pacers scored 19 straight points. Beep, beep, drive home safely.
If you look at the play-by-play of those four minutes and tried to find the Bulls’ defensive player of the year candidate, you wouldn’t notice his name until he missed a jumper about three minutes into the disastrous stretch.
Of the Pacers’ eight baskets, two were dunks, one was a layup and another was a four-footer. Me, I think a defensive player of the year candidate who does his best work around the rim would do something around the rim to stop such a ridiculous run.
But no. No rebounds. No blocks. No steals.
Yeah, that might’ve just been one bad stretch in a long season, but here’s the thing: It came against a team the Bulls will have to get past.
If the Bulls throw out another piece of garbage against the Pacers at home Monday night, then they might as well just forfeit April and May.
I’m not big on messages during the regular season, but some things look like strong conclusions. Four straight losses in Indianapolis, especially after the latest decapitation, looks hopeless.
And you know what? I can’t imagine LeBron James has been part of a team that has allowed 19 straight points like that. That’s just another part of the argument, but really, there is no argument for the Defensive Player of the Year Award until James retires.
James is the best defender in the league. Period. Paragraph. Story. Next?
It’s like James says: He can guard 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s, and he does it better than anybody. What else you got?
Not just guard them, but in many cases, James can make them give up the ball. That’s the ultimate sign of a defender. That’s the greatest respect.
I understand the love for Noah. He’s a nice pet project. He plays hard. He brings energy. Has has a great work ethic and a great game ethic. He’s not a heartless center the way Dwight Howard seems to be half the time.
Noah would willingly guard whomever Tom Thibodeau asked him to. Kudos for that kind of drive and selflessness.
Noah is the best defender on one of the best defensive teams in the league. That matters.
Noah has improved enough to become an All-Star, and I think that’s where this defensive player of the year talk gets its momentum.
He's a novelty, a new name for the conversation. Voters and commentators get bored. New is different, even if it's not right, and I’d be talking up Noah if it wasn’t so obvious that James was the better defender.
And another thing: This talk of Noah over James in this town is nuts because this is the city that ought to know better.
We watched Michael Jordan, remember? He was always the best player. He was always the most valuable player, no matter what the idiot voters said.
Jordan didn’t always get the MVP award, which didn’t make it right. That only made it stupid.
Jordan was the MVP. James is, too. James also isi the best defensive player in the league. Connect the dots, people.