When I wrote about Joakim Noah several weeks ago, I wrote about his lack of offensive production for the Chicago Bulls. I described a few ways he could fix it and why this season is the season to do it.
Through eight games, Noah hasn’t necessarily followed the guidelines I described, but he has nonetheless developed a solid offensive game. In eight games, Noah has improved across the board, averaging 15 points and almost 10 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. What these improvements are contributed to is clear: ball movement. The ball is moving and being passed down low. Noah now has the ball more often and is able to do more damage from the low block as opposed to not having the ball at all. When defenses get lazy and leave him open, his unorthodox jump shot continues to find the bottom of the net.
Noah slings his guns when he knocks down his jump-shots, and judging by how well he is doing so far this season we may be seeing more of it to come. Noah clearly picked up some things over the summer after practicing with Kareem Abdul-Jabar, and seems to have worked them flawlessly into his game. Not only has his great play gotten his name on an NBA All-Star ballot, but it can also be attributed to why Chicago is 5-3 so far.
At the beginning of the season, Noah was the name-amongst others- that came up when discussing who needed to step up this season, and step up he has. Noah continues to be aggressive on the glass as well as on the defensive end, and the energy he brings into every game seems to have led to a new and improved version of Noah. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The season is early, but the way Noah and the whole team seem to be working, Chicago fans might be able to take a breath when they are reminded that Derrick Rose is still rehabbing his torn ACL. With the way Chicago is playing, which can be described as clicking on all cylinders, it only furthers the belief that Rose should take as much time as he needs to get healthy and not rush into anything. So far this season it seems that the Bulls have found out exactly how to win without Rose and are executing it to perfection night in and night out. If they continue to play they way they have, it would be no surprise if Rose took a little longer to guarantee his health upon return to be 100 percent.