Joakim Noah is a quiet warrior.
The 6-foot-11 Chicago Bulls center has become the team’s best healthy player and even one of the NBA’s best players and he did it completely under the radar.
Noah jumped into a leadership role when Derrick Rose tore his meniscus in November. The Bulls have won 21 of 29 games since Jan. 1, an East best. Chicago even managed to keep winning after losing Luol Deng via trade two months ago.
On Sunday the Bulls hosted the struggling New York Knicks and Noah put on a show. He had a career-high 14 assists to go with 13 points and 12 rebounds. With his stellar playmaking, he became the first center to post at least 14 assists since 1986. Chicago got the win, effortlessly, the final score was 109-90.
Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love had high praise for Noah’s passing.
Joakim Noah can really pass that thing…crazy respect for his game
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) March 2, 2014
K-Love isn’t too bad himself, and it’s not everyday he delivers such high praise.
Noah has averaged 12 points and 11.5 rebounds per game this season.
The Bulls are making a push for home advantage in the playoffs and they shouldn’t be ignored. They’re currently tied for third place with Toronto in the Eastern Conference.
Rose isn’t returning in the regular season, but maybe that’s OK. If Chicago keeps getting this type of production from Noah, the Bulls may be able to ride the wave to home-court advantage. Rose might be back for the playoffs, if not, the Bulls have made noise without him before.
For now, give the keys to Noah and let him do the driving.
Previous Tweet Post:
Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops. Follow @BrettNBA