Feb 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; 2014 Eastern Conference All-Stars center Joakim Noah (Bulls) (13) is interviewed during the media session before practice at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Joakim Noah highlights week of great performances with fourth career triple-double

Each week, one of the Chicago Bulls is chosen as our featured “Player of the Week.” Players are chosen  based on the player’s past week of performances with help from our Twitter followers.

In the Chicago Bulls’ last three games, Joakim Noah really showed why he deserved to be a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team for a second-straight year.

Last Sunday, February 9, Noah started the week strong in a 92-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. His double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds led Chicago in the victory. Not only that, but the near seven-footer added three assists, three blocks and two steals. He also managed to play with five fouls for the last 6:53 of the game, a risk head coach Tom Thibodeau felt was necessary to take.

“It was too tight. Either we were going to win it with him, or that was going to be it,” Thibodeau said. “At that point, I didn’t think we could afford two or three minutes (with Noah on the bench), so we rolled the dice and were fortunate. We’re a little short-handed right now — and the way they spread you out on the perimeter, you need guys that can cover ground.”

On Thursday, February 13, Noah posted a near triple-double of 14 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. He was one of five Bulls to score in double figures, making the 92-76 win over the Brooklyn Nets a well-balanced effort.

The highlight of Noah’s week, though, came during the 100-85 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks this past Wednesday, February 11. He recorded his fourth career triple-double: 19 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Along with that, Noah got three blocks on the night.

Thibodeau described Noah’s performance as “unbelievable.” And that it surely was.

This season, Noah has proved he is one of the best big-men passers in the league. He has attributed his ability to rack up assists with how opponents defend him.

“A lot of players that guard me, they back up a lot, they give me a lot of space because I can drive,” Noah said. “That just opens up the dribble-handoff game. So I’ve just been trying to concentrate on making quick decisions and trying to get my teammates open.”

With the playmaking efficiency Noah has shown this season, combined with his defensive prowess, he has proven to be quite an asset to this Bulls team.

Honorable mentions

Taj Gibson: Gibson had been the starting power forward in Carlos Boozer’s absence. In two games without Boozer last week, Gibson had 18 points and 6 rebounds against the Lakers and a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds in a win over the Hawks. Boozer returned to the starting lineup for the game versus Brooklyn, but the six-foot-nine power forward continue to play strong with 16 points and 5 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler: The swingman from Marquette has had some offensive struggles lately; however, Butler recently  found his offensive rhythm. Against Atlanta, he shot 55.6 percent from the field and recorded a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. In the win over Brooklyn, Butler scored 14 points on 75.0 percent shooting.

Joakim Noah has been one of the few bright spots for this Bulls team since Derrick Rose has gone down with an injury and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up after the All-Star Game. Make sure to keep supporting your favorite team by getting your Chicago Bulls tickets here.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Jimmy Butler Joakim Noah Player Of The Week Taj Gibson

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