Each week, one of the Chicago Bulls is chosen as our featured “Player of the Week.” Along with that, there are two honorable mentions. Players are chosen based on the player’s past week of performance. Our Twitter followers are asked for their opinions, which are then taken into consideration for the choices made. Joakim Noah is the featured Bull for the week of Mar. 2-Mar. 8.
Joakim Noah has come a long way since the Chicago Bulls first drafted him in 2009. His personality is still very evident, just as it was with his Draft night suit. Now, though, his style is accompanied with a more refined, versatile game.
Last week, Noah posted two triple-doubles over a span of four days. The first one came at the beginning of the week when the Bulls faced the New York Knicks on Mar. 2. Noah had 13 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists, two steals and two blocks in the 109-90 home victory.
Following the triple-double against the Knicks, Taj Gibson really credited the work Noah has been putting in up until then.
“What can you say? He is playing MVP basketball,” Gibson said. “He is doing everything in all facets of the game.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Noah added another triple-double to his resume just three days after posting the fifth one of his career. His 10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and two blocks led Chicago to a 105-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Mar. 5. As impressive as triple-doubles are, though, there comes a point when it become the standard a player is held to.
“Jo’s our leader, and a triple-double is nothing to him,” Jimmy Butler said. “We are starting to expect that from him. He does so many things well that it makes it easier for the rest of us.”
This hasn’t at all diminished the value to Noah’s contributions. He has just become that much more valuable to the Bulls. Noah realizes this, but this isn’t about him. It’s about helping his team win.
“It feels good, but I know that just as much as people can put you on a pedestal and say, ‘Oh, man, you’re doing great,’ in a week it can go away just like that,” Noah said. “I don’t take that for granted and I try to just focus on what’s important because if you focus on the praise, then it just makes things harder.”
D.J. Augustin: The second-string point guard averaged 19.75 points, 3.25 assists in last week, and his average was the highest among bench players.
Taj Gibson: His averages last week, 16.25 points and 4.75 rebounds, fell the week prior; however, Gibson remained a reliable scoring source for a Bulls team that, at times, really struggles to strive offensively.