It was reported a few days ago that Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah had been kept out of a few practices earlier this week, however, news officially broke today that Noah will be inactive for Chicago’s preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night.
Noah, who has been dealing with “minor” groin issues, could miss more than just Chicago’s preseason opener. Although many fans want to see the All-Star center play in the Saturday night, the Bulls have made the right choice by sitting Noah out.
The Bulls need Noah for the postseason, not the preseason, which is why I have no problem with Noah missing as much of the preseason as he needs. His past two trips to the postseason have been derailed by injuries. In 2012, Noah was only able to play in Chicago’s first three games against the Philadelphia 76ers as he sprained his ankle on a fast break in Game 3. Then last season, despite a brilliant performance in Game 7 of the first round against the Brooklyn Nets, you could tell that Noah was nowhere near 100 percent. As the postseason progressed, Noah looked like he was in more and more pain in each game.
Noah is one of the most valuable pieces of the Bulls, and this team will not be able to advance in the playoffs if he is injured once again. He is the leader of the defense, which is one of the best in the NBA, and is continuing to improve upon his offensive game. Noah really came into his own last season, and that was without the help of All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, who missed the entire year. With Rose back at the helm, there is no guessing what Noah will be capable of this year. However, if he is not able to stay healthy, we will never know what the duo can achieve together.
The moral of the story is that it will ultimately suit the Bulls much better in the long run if Noah is to miss games in October rather than April or May (or even June). Chicago’s ultimate goal is to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the year. In order to accomplish this goal, they will need a healthy Joakim Noah come playoff time, which means that the All Star may have to miss some preseason action.
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter jkell2005.