Blogtable: Your All-NBA first team center

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: All-NBA center | Coaches in danger | Playoff team needs new gear



VIDEO: The Starters discuss whether or not Joakim Noah is an All-NBA first team center

> Who’s your pick for first team all-NBA at center? Do you have a dark horse nominee?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Joakim Noah. Noah has been doing everything an NBA coach wants from a center – and more. He leads the Bulls in minutes, rebounds, assists, blocks and free-throw attempts – Dwight Howard leads Houston only in rebounds and blocks – and Noah ranks second on Chicago’s roster in steals. And did you notice “assists” on that list? Noah has been a true “point-center” in Tom Thibodeau‘s offense, picking up where Derrick Rose left off as a playmaker, finding cutters, resetting plays and driving to the rim when needed. He is hitting career highs in PER (20.0) and usage rate (18.6) and he leads all players, not just centers, with a 95.7 defensive rating.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Dwight Howard. He has returned to his old Orlando-type form and has been the most consistent big man in the league. Noah gets some love for being the lead horse that kept the Bulls in the playoff race despite Chicago’s many injuries and trades this season.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Tough, tough call. My top three picks were Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah and Al Jefferson. I eliminated Jefferson first for defensive reasons — he has only 74 blocks and has allowed 53.3 percent shooting at the rim. Through much consternation my first team all-NBA center is … Dwight. His 18.5 ppg on 59 percent shooting, 12.3 rpg and 7.4 net rating put him over the top. The do-it-all Noah has a net rating of 3.8, but a slightly higher PIE than Howard. He doesn’t score as much as Howard, but he runs the offense like a point guard and leads the Bulls in assists at 5.2 — that he only turns it over 2.4 times a game is in itself remarkable. As for a dark horse, is Anthony Davis a center? I love DeMarcus Cousins‘ offensive package, but his defense is more on par with Jefferson. DeAndre Jordan‘s 191 blocks, 13.8 rpg and 67.4 percent shooting make him my dark horse.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Joakim Noah over Dwight Howard, eye test over statistics. Howard has better numbers in most categories and his positive impact in Houston cannot be denied even by the biggest D12 detractors, but Noah will get a lot of votes for third, fourth and fifth place in the MVP balloting. Rightfully so. He has set the tone for a team that continues to win with defense and deserves credit on offense for becoming such a good passer. I guess that makes everyone a dark-horse nominee. DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Joakim Noah is, by far, the best and most important player on a top 4 seed. He’s the anchor of the Bulls’ second-ranked defense and though their offense stinks, it would be awful without him. Dwight Howard should be the second-team center, and after that, it’s hard to choose between Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert and Al Jefferson. Bosh is the second-most important player on a team that’s won 53 games, Hibbert has anchored the league’s No. 1 defense, and Jefferson has carried an offense that has improved every month.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I’m going with Chicago’s Joakim Noah. I think he’s put together the kind of season (on both ends of the floor) that makes him worthy of a first team all-NBA nod in what’s really a crowded big man field. Plus, when you consider the fact that he’s done it all season without being able to play off of an All-Star and MVP like Derrick Rose, that makes Noah’s effort this season even more remarkable. My dark horse nominee is Charlotte’s Al Jefferson. He’s been the anchor for a turnaround that simply would not have happened if he wasn’t wearing a Charlotte Bobcats uniform.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball blog: I don’t know how dark this horse is, and I haven’t filled out my ballot yet so I might change my mind, but I think Joakim Noah is my choice. Noah, Hibbert and Howard are, in my mind, the best defensive centers in the NBA. And while none of the three have been transcendent offensively, they’ve all been at least coherent. What sets Noah apart, at least to me, is that unlike the others, Noah is the undisputed heart of his team. With all the injuries and trades the Bulls have had this season, Noah has still come to play every night, and he never takes a play off.

71 Comments

  1. ai83 says:

    Al Jefferson one more time underrated player, no doubts Big Al Jefferson is the best center in the league and this year he deserves to be in the first team. Al Jefferson.
    Al Jefferson > Noah.

  2. smh says:

    and i forgot about demarcus cousins. man if his teams record wasnt so bad, he’d be the obvious choice

  3. smh says:

    al jerfferson is being very overlooked because of the team he’s on. i doubt the nba would even put a bobcat player on the 1st team even though he deserves it. he is so skilled, and underrated. he should of even been an all star. love howard and noah, but this belongs to jefferson. he’s been solid all year

  4. brian says:

    Howard. sigue siendo el mas grande! jamas va a cambiar!

  5. Anja Jacobsen says:

    Dwight Howard, of course. Superman is back.

  6. hh says:

    This is not even a debate, Noah is the best center this season, my nr 2 pick is Jefferson, best offensive center in the league.

  7. ogtrice says:

    Joakim for all NBA first team without a doubt. the dude is a beast and has proved he is a superstar in this league

  8. Mike says:

    Joakim Noah for All-NBA center. Joakim Noah for DPOY. He should also be a contender Most Improved, but that award should go to either Lance Stevenson, Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe… or the entire Suns roster.

  9. jake s. says:

    Noah. For real tho.

  10. Parminder Singh says:

    NOAH is way better than Dwight… Noah is a number 1 team player and all rounder.

  11. Will Prodigy says:

    Joakim Noah deserves Defensive Player award! period, #BullsNation

  12. Raz says:

    Joakim Noah! …and he will also get finals MVP O.o

  13. KaashMoneyy says:

    I see Big Boogie Cousins getting some love out here with atleast a mention and that’s all I wanted! O and I would have to say Noah is All-NBA 1st team because he is literally carrying the Bulls (even in a bad East). D12 has Harden to help him out and draw away some attention. If I was to big a Center to start my team with, it would be Noah just barely over Howard

  14. EuniceKarin says:

    Jo just had another triple-double, so yeah I’d take Jo over any center right now.

  15. okc2014 says:

    Dwight Howard over Noah. It’s very close.

  16. fabrice says:

    JOAKIM NOAH

    howard is just a kid

  17. ash says:

    Joakim Noah for sure

  18. theCHI2014 says:

    lebron james can supposedly guard positions 1-5 so where is he in this talk? Yea lebron is the best center in the league

  19. Andylx says:

    The reason why Houston have Asik, because they cannot rely on Howard. Reason why Howard could never play with Asik or Gaso on court is because he basketball IQ is very low. As an individual, Howard is unstoppable. A player of his physical strength and playing in a league that does not have many centres, he should be averaging 20 10.

  20. Drew says:

    Joakim Noah and Tony Parker should be MVPs of this season.

    Forget the hype with Durant scoring a bunch but loosing the games. while tying MJ.

    Why does Tony Parker’s name not come up in MVP race when his team has the best record? Why does it have to be based on who is the scoring leader aka Durant or James, that’s a separate nomination.

    • Mike says:

      I’m a huge Spurs fan (probably the biggest), but the entire San Antonio roster is too well rounded to have a single MVP. The closest Parker has been to an MVP award was last year. Remember last year when Parker destroyed every PG in the post-season? …if the Spurs win the Championship, TP will be the Finals MVP for sure.

  21. Chocolatecake says:

    It’s gotta come down to Joakim or Dwight and even though it pains me to say it I have to pick Dwight. Noah might be the better defender overall (hard to tell because the chicago team defense is just so much better than the rockets system) but Dwight is still the best two way force and will only get better once he integrates himself properly into the rockets system. Also I feel I should point out that while Noah has been the ‘heart and soul’ of the bulls and carried them to the position they are, that position would see them not even IN the playoffs if they were in the West. Dwight Carried Houston from 8th to 4th in one fairly tumultuous season.

  22. TheKush says:

    Joakim Noah has more heart and is more well rounded from a basketball standpoint however Dwight Howard is naturally gifted. That said even with all the skills Dwight possess I would rather have Joakim on my NBA team. Howards personality fits the college game. I don’t think Howard understands how lucky he is to be a top level professional basketball player I equally don’t think he understands how quickly all of his basketball talents will become yesterdays news.

    when Orlando made it to the finals Howard didn’t seem to understand how blessed he was to make it there. Since that defeat nothing seems to have changed in how Dwight Howard views the game of basketball. This year the people voted Kevin Love over Howard to be an allstar starter not because Love is more talented or gifted athletically but because Kevin Love plays with more heart on the basketball court.

    Dwight Howard seems like a nice guy and usually nice guys finish last in a cut throat environment like professional sports. The Houston Rockets will go as far as James Harden takes them. Chicago is basically in the same position now as when Rose wasn’t injured, the bulls got rid of Deng nothing changed? Boozer is typically not productive nothings changed when Noah steps on the court everyone knows what to expect from him. Next to shawn Marion Noah has the ugliest shot in the NBA and he shots it with supreme confidence Noah has the heart of a champion and Howard has the mind of big kid. My nba first team center goes to Noah!

  23. dustydreamnz says:

    Noah would be my pick and most seem to agree. I don’t really have a dark horse but Vucevic, Henson and Drummond are guys to watch in next few years. All on bad teams so don’t get noticed much.
    While we’re on this subject bring back the All Star Center vote, there’s so many good centers around!
    Noah, Howard, Drummond, Cousins, Vucevic, Henson, Gortat, Jefferson, Plumlee Bros, Chandler, Sullinger, Varejao, Jordan, Lopez, Bogut, Gasol, Pekovic, Kaman, Favors…

  24. Red says:

    Yeah Noah is leading his team with most of the stats because let’s face it, who else is there?

  25. BenTo says:

    Noah without a Doubt!!! He’s the DPY of the year. The best defender on a defensive team… Scoring stats don’t matter as much as defensive stats when you play like Chicago in a defensive team.
    Plus the list of players in the history of NBA averaging +10ppg +10rpg +5apg is just amazing. It places a man…

    • REALLY? says:

      WTF?
      this isnt a debate, Dwight is way dam better…he plays on a team with many offensive weapons and barely ever has the ball in his hands….if he had the touches Noah gets hes average 27ppg

      This isnt even close, get real guys!!!

      Dwight is WAAAAYYY better then Noah….smh

      • C4 says:

        The same reason of Dwight having more weapons on his team than Noah is a great argument of why Noah’s play this year has been that much more remarkable than Dwight.

        Dwight was brought into Houston to be the defensive anchor for this team. They didn’t need his scoring. All they need him to do is clog up the middle, grab boards, and block shots. He’s filling in the role nicely.

        Noah, in my opinion, has rise above all expectations placed on him. He’s gotten triple doubles, had help his team maintain the 4th seed in the east. Plus he’s doing it after his team was written off after losing Rose for another year and trading away Deng.

        Dwight is the better explosive athlete of the two. But Noah has better IQ and better All around game in my opinion

  26. Boris says:

    Joakim Noah for sure !! :)

  27. Sogjal says:

    Dark Horse nominee – Marcin Gortat after trade he has found himself in new environment and Wizz are back in PO Best? Joakim cuz of his heart in game, Dwight in my opinion always will be big mentally kiddo ,good center, but only good. Ask Kobe what he thinks.

  28. Whitechocolate says:

    Hibbert as dark horse? -that guy is avg. less rebounds than Lance Stephenson . In my opinion rebounding is the centers most important job and hibbert is avg less than half as much than the best in the leauge.
    Indiana has been good – and Hibbert has been okay, but if he becomes all-nba center it is the definte answer that the center positon is slowly dying.

    Hibbert is overrated!!

    Here is my all-nba centers:
    1: D12 ( To those who say Dwight is back, they’re wrong. In my opinion Houston are wasting the talent the have at the center position. They are blessed with the by FAR (not counting the old Bynum) most skilled center in the league, but still they tend to let ALL offense go through Harden. Howard is not even 2 option – that’s Parsons. For the puposes Houston uses howard they could might as well use player like DJ or Andre Drummond. This is not Dwight’s fault – it is a coaching problem. All this aside, Dwight has once again been the most dominant center to play the game. I think we all have higher expectations for D12, I know I do, but for now we have got to live with, what we got – which is still the best center.
    2: Al Jefferson ( Putting him over Noah was tough, but I for one as absolutely loved Big Al this year. He is breathtaking with his non-glamourous-game down in low block. He is old school and he has had the best year in his career. Adding to that he has helped the Bobcats to their best season ever, I think he should defintely become All-nba, and I would love to see him on the second team)
    3: Joakim Noah ( He has had a huge impact on the Bulls this year, but I think the one that the Bulls have to thank for their position in the standing is their Coach TT. Statistically, the guys above have been far superior to Noah this year. And apart from Howard and Al their many other centers around the league, who have been better on the statsheets this year. Due to fact that Noah has been so valueable for the Bulls this years, he defintely deserves to be All-nba)

    Other guys, who are defintely better than Hibbert.
    Boogie – Cousins has shown himself to be the center – despite Big Al – who has the most varied offensive game in the league. He is not a huge factor defensively and he is playing on a bad team, nonthelees he will take Roy Hibbert to school at any given night.

    Marc Gasol – He has been injured, but when he returned he has shown just how valueable he is the to Memphis.

    AD – I know he is a PF, but he is metioned – and we is way better both defensively and on offense than the big guy from Indiana.

    DJ – Deandre Jordan is a terrific defender and the best rebounder in the league. In a match between Clippers and Pacers he would have the same effect that Hibbert has on the defensive end – and he would outrun Hibbert any time. He is also my choise for DPOY.

    Drummond – He is young, but in a few years he could be the new Dwight Howard. He is very raw, but still has the same impact as Hibbert has. I would love to see him with a rutined guard, who could make him better than the way he is portrayed in Detroit.

    //
    Mathias Vrang Thomsen, Denmark – Follower of the NBA

    • ron possible says:

      NOOOOOOOO WAAAAAYYYYY just shut upp, John Henson is the best period………!!!!!!!!

  29. Damian says:

    Dwight all the way. He led a team to the nba finals. and numbers dont lie. D12 is a 3 time DPY and noah cant even put up 15 a game.

    • Richard says:

      Big Al is 1st team, idk why people are so stuck on names (Noah, Howard)

    • kobe24 says:

      Dude this isn’t a n award for most accolades , its for dpoy . You sound like an idiot for saying points matter more . Chris Paul doesn’t even put up 20 and look where his tea is in front of thw rockets and Noah had 3 triple doubles this year , and is leading the team with the second best defensive rating . End of discussion you don’t win dpoy for putting up 15 you get it for leading your team defensively.

  30. clips city says:

    My opinion I think Jo is the best defensive player of the year & best center in the NBA. Also when the rockets played the bulls Jo had Dwight on lock. Jo is also the most physical center. He is the beat center better then Dwight , DeAndre,Hilbert & way better then cousins DeMarcus this is coming from a clips fan

  31. Lucky Star says:

    I don’t know what it means to be “coherent offensively” but I’m pretty sure Hibbert hasn’t been. His FG% is just under 45%, and he’s averaging 6.7 rebounds per game.

  32. James says:

    Marcin Gortat

  33. Frank Jordan says:

    How about this for a darkhorse. Robin Lopez in Portland has been a Godsend to the Blazers.

  34. deiviuxs says:

    Without a doubt – Joakim Noah! He’s the heart of the Bulls. He’s the only all-star at the Bulls at the moment and he’s doing it all. Mad respect for him.

  35. Justin says:

    Joakim is the best center in my opinion. Although Dwight is more athletic and slightly better offensively, Joakim has greater intangibles, a better defender, and a better free throw shooter than Dwight. You have to give Al Jefferson and Demarcus Cousins some love with their offensive game, but their defense is sub-par. Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan can be great but their free throw percentage is just so horrible that they are a liability at the end of games. They also need a better post game. Lastly, remember Roy Hibbert and Marc Gasol. When right and healthy, they play solid offense and defense.

  36. ryancarlgregs says:

    Demarcus cousins is the best center in the league. Everyone simply repeats what every blogger/journalist says and calls it their own opinion. For people who watch more than just the mainstream teams, DMC & Marc Gasol are probably the best centers in the game today with their all around package. I think that all NBA teams should focus on team record, making Noah or D12 the first and second team, but for the all star game the whole “winning team” argument is redundant and illogical

  37. afunny0 says:

    Dwight is better than Noah. And he should be first team. This shouldn’t even be a discussion

  38. MJ says:

    Gortat ROCKS this year!!

  39. Zharjin says:

    I still think deandre jordan is the best in this season.

  40. Jim Muncy says:

    Dwight gets my vote. Last year, with a pretty good center (Asik could start for most NBA teams), Houston was an eight seed and easy out. This year with Howard, they have moved into just below the elite category. Sure, Noah is more versatile but we are talking about the five position here. You don’t need a utility knife there. You need your center to rebound and play defense first. Then you need him to overpower his opponent and score at the rim. Those three things Howard does very well. That’s why he is the best CENTER. Second on my list at CENTER would clearly be DeAndre Jordan because he does those things too. He’s in the top three in both rebounding and blocked shots. He also blows everyone else off the map when it comes to number of dunks. The only reason Howard gets the nod over DeAndre is because DeAndre scores about half as much as Howard per game. Still, if I was looking for a center for my team, it would be Dwight and DeAndre first. You can argue that there may be better players out their but not at what you need your center to do.

  41. Pacerfan101 says:

    ROY HIBBERT

  42. Rick says:

    Not even a mention of Robin Lopez in Portland, look at his stats.

  43. KMAN says:

    I have a dark horse nominee for you… Nikola Vucevic aka Mr. Double Double. He seems to be very underrated in the NBA.

  44. Sonny says:

    Big D cousins in my opinion he’s the most versitile big man in the nba with amazing speed , too bad the kings are having a lottery waggon season.

  45. king236fan says:

    sorry he is a foward-center… but even.. giving different options.. at least 5 centers to discuss….Marc Gasol All fJefferson or whatever…..

    They are doing what the media always does that is focus on 2 or 3 outstanding guy …. and forget to even mention the others great players that deserves a spotlight or something to get some recognition….

    When talking about the MVP we should be talking since lebron james to kevin love to steph curry to everybody….. tim duncan, tony parker, paul george… where are those guys? when did we see any of those being brought up to an MVP conversation? We only focus on 2 guys(first PG and LBJ, then KD and LBJ) or maybe you say blake griffin and noah…. that is it…. i wanted those guys to point out that one guy… that is not in the spotlight… but is making the right path and soon will rise… i don’t know.. i just wanted different opinions….

  46. king236fan says:

    What about Kevin Love? not even mentioned?
    I would go with Noah because of his tremendous season… but they should spread more and give a lot of options… not just between 2 guys, one of them that was the best but never played as well since went to the lakers….
    Lot of respect to noah… tremendous franchise player

  47. BMelo says:

    Noah is #1 this season, But look out with Drummond, I see him as the future in the Paint.

  48. dd def says:

    i love noah, he’s great, but considering the year he’s had shouldn’t robin lopez at least get a mention!? most 4th quarter blocks in the league, making a bigger impact on his team than howard hibbert AND cousins (though cousins is starting to look DARN good) i mean, i’m not saying he is absolutely the best, but a mention at least right!?

  49. heatfan1212 says:

    deandre jordan

  50. theizzzeee says:

    How are you gonna have this discussion without Marc Gasol thrown in the mix??? Say what?

  51. Collin E says:

    Big Al Jefferson better at least make 3rd team all nba. He’s second to cousins in scoring centers but with a better PIE. Has led a charlotte team to the playoffs, which nobody would’ve guessed. And he’s the only player in the east avg 20 and 10. Go to bigalspaint.com if you need more convincing

  52. Art says:

    The scribe winner is John Schuhmann. Why? Because only he said that “Joakim Noah is, BY FAR, the best and most important player”. Dwight Howard should be 2nd, Al Jefferson – 3rd. DeMarcus Cousins actually can also be considered but sorry Bosh & Hibbert are not top 5 centers.

  53. ExileD says:

    i go with DwightHowrd because he play in the Westren Convernce v. Weak Eastren .

    2nd his team imporved from being the 8th seed last year to be top 4.

    • #dwade#flash says:

      if you based your decisions on team standings then you still have to pick JO, I aint a bulls fan but man look what he have done for the bulls without the franchise player. Dwight got who? Harden Parson Asik LIn and the list goes on, and Who Noah got?

    • eric says:

      I agree. Chicago is a fourth seed but they wouldnt be out west. So saying he is the most important player on a fourth seed in the east doesnt say much.. If dwight and the rockets were in the east they would be fighting miami for the top spot. Deep respect for noah but if chicago was playoff eliminated out west this wouldnt be a discussion.

      • Wisdom0054 says:

        Oh… So you wanna play the if game? If rose was not hurt, and deng wasn’t traded, we’d be battling for the top spot
        too. If harden and parsons was out, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. If you put noah on the Rockets and Howard on the bulls, the Rockets would have the best record, and bulls would be a 6th seed. Maybe If howard could make freethrows down the stretch, maybe he’d have a championship lol. The if game is fun.

      • eric says:

        lol! Calm down dude! Take my ‘if’ statement out and the rest of my comment is still pretty valid.

  54. Eric says:

    i will definitely vote for Joakim Noah!!

  55. #BullsFAnDAN says:

    Jo all day! Jo deserves first place votes. Your the man Jo! Go Bulls! #BullsFanDan

  56. Chi-Town-BullsFan says:

    Let’s go bulls hopefully Noah makes the all nba 1st team it’s well deserved.

  57. jdub455 says:

    definitely joakim noah!!! without a doubt..