What Stops Joakim Noah From Being A Top Center

Howard Smith- US Presswire

Joakim Noah was an NBA All-Defense player two years ago, and he is a top rebounder and is one of the hardest working and scrappiest players on the court. So why is it that he isn’t mentioned in the “top centers in the NBA,” conversation?

It’s because he lacks an offensive consistency, and he has no go-to offensive game. He averaged 10.2 points per game last season but the majority of the points were created through his offensive rebounding and his attitude of not quitting on the play until it’s over.

Noah has exceptional athleticism for a 7-foot center, and his ball-handling abilities, court vision and passing are unparalleled by any big man in the league, so why is it that his offensive production is so low?

It’s because of two reasons. First, Noah doesn’t have his number called often, and he doesn’t have a lot of plays run through him. Secondly, he has a terrible jump shot — bottom line. His jump shot epitomizes everything you’re not supposed to do, and his form is all wrong.

His shot can be fixed by changing two significant things: his hands and his feet. Compare Noah’s shot to teammate Carlos Boozers’ who has one of the NBA’s best jump shots, and it becomes obvious that Noah’s shot needs work.

Noah’s feet need work. He elevates on his shot by trying to lift up from his feet instead of his legs . This doesn’t just make his shot look awkward but it makes it terribly ineffective. By jumping from the balls of his feet, he is reducing the amount of height of his jumper and makes it easier to block.

It’s a simple change, as he needs to square his feet to the basket first and then use his legs as springs, bending his knees to load the springs and then bouncing up to elevate higher and more in focus to the direction of the basket. This will make his shot harder to block and more accurate.

The next issue with Noah’s jump shot is his hands. In a well-formed jump shot, the player is supposed to have one hand on the ball and the other on the side as a guide. Noah shoots with both hands and creates a tornado like spiral of a shot. This is caused by opposing forces exerted on the ball by his hands going in two direction. When the ball hits the rim, it spins around it and usually drops off the rim because of its speed and rotation.

Noah is a righty, so he needs to line his right hand up at a 90 degree angle and place his left hand on the left side of the ball to guide it to the basket ever so slightly. His left hand is supposed to act like a barrier to keep the ball in his hands but he uses it as a force equal to his right hand creating a shot that resembles a shot with rotation that resembles a planet in orbit.

Fixing an NBA jump-shot is like breaking a bad habit. It’s tough to break, and takes a long time, but Noah has the work ethic that is required and a team filled with great shooters that he can try to replicate.

The regular season  for the Chicago Bulls doesn’t start until October 31st, so Noah still has time to practice and improve and with Noah’s attitude toward every other aspect in his game.

Around the Web