Most NBA fans are convinced that this year’s MVP race is simply a two-headed battle with Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder facing off against Miami Heat superstar LeBron James. However, there needs to be another name added into the contention as the Chicago Bulls wouldn’t have more than 15 wins if Joakim Noah was not playing at such a high level.
Sure, Noah doesn’t pile up the points like Durant or James, but there’s little doubt that the Bulls’ center is the top big man in the game when it comes to versatility. Surprisingly enough; Noah’s statistics are very similar to Dwight Howard‘s expect Chicago’s seven-footer averages over three assists per game more than Howard. In addition, the Bulls’ supporting cast is one of the worst in the NBA while the Thunder, Heat and Houston Rockets are all fielding teams with numerous players of All-Star caliber.
Meanwhile, the Bulls’ idea of a scoring threat is Mike Dunleavy Jr.
After a rough start to the year that was marred by Derrick Rose-related frustration, the Bulls now stand firmly as Eastern Conference stalwarts with a 28-25 overall record. Think about the load that has been placed on Noah’s shoulders this year. Not only did Rose play in a mere 10 games before going down for the year, long-time Bulls forward Luol Deng was also dealt earlier in the season, which pointed the arrow of responsibility straight to No. 13.
To say Noah has come into his own is an understatement as the once-frail center is now a force to be reckoned with. So while Durant, James, Howard and even Carmelo Anthony are likely to get a bulk of the MVP consideration; be sure to take a look at Noah’s body of work during such a tumultuous campaign in the Windy City.