With Derrick Rose sidelined the entire season to date someone needed to step up and take the leadership role for the Chicago Bulls. Passionate center Joakim Noah has been the player to do it and has been more than up to the task.
Noah has always been an intense player that leave everything on the floor. His passion for the game rivals anyone else’s in the NBA. Noah hasn’t been needed to lead the Bulls much in his first five seasons with Rose healthy and producing at an MVP level, but without Rose Noah’s all-around contributions have brought stability to a Bulls team that lacks a true go-to player.
While Noah’s shooting percentage is down this year his production in just about every other area has increased. Noah is averaging a career high 12.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and an astonishing 4.2 assists, which is exceptional for a center. Noah put his tools on full display a couple of times this season; once during a triple-double against the Boston Celtics where Noah racked up 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists then when Noah accomplished one of the rarest triple-doubles you will ever see with 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocked shots against Philadelphia 76ers on February 28.
Noah’s do-everything play has earned him his first ever All-Star birth this season and his defensive prowess should garner a spot on the All-Defense first or second team. Regardless of how far the Bulls advance in the playoffs this season, much of their success should be credited to the inspiring play of Joakim Noah.