WASHINGTON D.C. – If there has been a major disappointment about the Bulls so far this season, it has no doubt been the play of Joakim Noah.
Noah had an incredible season last year despite missing ten weeks after hand surgery. But this season Noah has fallen off a bit, not rebounding like he should and not showing up in big spots to bail out Derrick Rose and the offense.
There is, of course, the fourth quarter benchings Noah has been subject to.
However, despite Noah’s sluggish start to the season, the Bulls are the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA and Noah deserves credit for that. He has also worked on his shooting which has been reflected in his boosted points totals.
“With Joakim being in the middle, it’s definitely going to make the game easy,” Bulls MVP Derrick Rose said. “We call it easy offense. So why not pass it to him and he makes the decisions?”
Noah has hit a hot streak as of late, posting his fifth double-dbouble in a row on Monday while almost exploding for a triple double. Noah finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
“They had to trap DRose because he was doing whatever he wanted on the pick-and-roll,” said Noah. When they started blitzing him, that opened up everything for us. I just tried to put pressure on the defense and make the easy play.”
At one point after nailing a jumper, Noah holstered imaginary guns much to the pleasure of the Bulls fans in attendance.
“[It’s] very unique,” Rose said. “Where he can make plays, man. Even though he’s our center. He’s a good passer and he can take a lot of pressure off all the guards. It just makes everybody’s job easier.”
Noah is without question hitting his best stretch of the season thus far. In the last ten games Noah is averaging over 1o ppg and 11.3 rpg. The most impressive stat for Noah over the last ten games is that he is shooting roughly 58.5 percent from the field.
On Monday Noah went 5 for 6 shooting an insane (especially for Noah) 83 percent.
There’s no doubt Noah’s on fire and he’s showing no signs of stopping. When he’s rebounding the ball, he does it better then anyone in the league. The thing is Noah needs to keep his game on the up and up. He’s not to a peak yet, he’s simply on the ascent to one. If this hot streak continues, the Bulls could get rolling and we’ve all seen what happens to the NBA when that occurs.
“That’s him,” Rose said. “He’s one of the bigs in the league that can actually run the fast break, making great decisions.”