Chicago Bulls Lucky If Joakim Noah Stays Healthy

By John Raffel
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls head into the NBA All-Star break with various concerns and several legitimate ones but they can’t deny what a gem that have in Joakim Noah.

A 71-69 loss to the Boston Celtics early this week seemed to indicate that the Bulls were in dire need of a breather. They were 2-5 going into the break.

Noah showed an awesome amount of determination in the game. He’s battling plantar fascilitis in his left foot but it’s not slowing him down.

Against the Celtics, he scored 10 points and brought down 16 boards. It was his 25th double-double of the season.

The Bulls squeezed an incredible 43 minutes out of Noah, who had 14 boards on the defensive end. He’s not playing flawlessly as evident from his five turnovers. He’s only missed four games and has started all of the 48 contests he has appeared in.

His playing minutes on the average for this season are almost 10 minutes higher than for his entire NBA career.

But while the Bulls continue to play shorthanded, they may need to make a deal soon for a front-line player who can give them the minutes they’re going to need to be a quality team in the Eastern Conference. They’re slowly looking not less like a team that could contend with the Miami Heat for the conference title. The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have passed the Bulls as the teams most likely to give the Heat a run for their money.

But if Noah stays healthy, there’s always hope for the Bulls.

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