Earlier this week I wrote a column about how I thought that Joakim Noah was the most valuable player on the Chicago Bulls roster in the absence of Derrick Rose; and Friday night in Detroit Noah made my case even stronger.
Noah had a career night against the Detroit Pistons scoring 30 points, and grabbing 23 rebounds; shattering his previous career highs of 26 points and 21 rebounds. Chicago trailed by as many as 17 points before making a comeback in the second half.
Momentum officially swung in Bulls favor late in the fourth quarter when Noah rebounded a miss shot and followed it with a layup and a foul. On the next Bulls possession Noah grabbed another offensive rebound which lead to a Carlos Boozer dunk. Noah ended the game with 10 offensive rebounds which was twice as many as the entire Pistons team.
Chicago got contributions from their entire starting unit which seen each stater score in double figures. Boozer had 24 points, while Loul Deng and Marco Belinelli both chipped in 16 points, but this night belonged to Joakim Noah.
The Pistons as a team had 28 rebounds, while Noah had 23 rebounds by himself. Noah’s energy and effort on the defensive end ignited the Bulls comeback; making this Chicago’s sixteenth straight win over Detroit.
But of course the “Noah critics” will say that this performance is null and void because it came against the struggling Detroit Pistons, but that couldn’t be farthest from the truth. Without Rose the Bulls need every win they can manage.
Noah’s performance Friday night was nothing short of amazing, especially considering the fact that Rose wasn’t there to make the game easier for him. If Noah continues to play like this he will put the whole league on notice, that’s assuming they’re not already.