Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah Set For Another Big Season

By Jon Keller
Joakim Noah
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing that could slow down center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls last season was his grueling plantar fasciitis.  Noah stepped up big for the Bulls last season when they needed him most as Derrick Rose was sidelined for the entire season.  Noah had a breakout season last year in Rose’s absence averaging career highs in points, rebounds, blocks, steals, and minutes per game.  Noah’s phenomenal season was validated by not only being selected to his first ever All-Star game but also chosen as a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Prior to this past season Noah had been known primarily as a defensive energy player. However, he was able to prove to everyone that he was much more than that as over the course of the season he developed into one of the most complete centers in the entire league. Whether it was recording two triple doubles or leading the Bulls to a series clinching Game 7 victory against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in which he posted a ridiculous line of 24 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and two assists, Noah showed the whole league that he was much more than just a defensive specialist.

There was one major difference in Noah’s offseason training last year which may have helped him develop his offensive game, that being the opportunity to train with legendary Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul- Jabbar. Getting a chance to train with one of the greatest centers in NBA history certainly worked out in Noah’s advantage as he turned into a serious offensive threat while having the best season of his NBA career.

This offseason, it was reported that Noah once again had the opportunity to work with yet another legendary NBA center. This time it was Hakeem Olajuwon.  Olajuwon who is ninth on the NBA all-time scoring list was known for his great post moves. Therefore there is reason to believe that Noah’s offensive game will once again improve going into this upcoming season with the tutelage of Olajuwon.

Although his points per game may decrease slightly with the return of Derrick Rose, expect another year of strong offensive production from Noah.  Noah will likely add a plethora of new post moves to his game to complement his improved mid range shot and exceptional passing.  With that being said, don’t be surprised to find Noah’s name on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster yet again in 2014.

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