Not since the days of Sacramento Kings legend Vlade Divac has the NBA seen the sort of passing skills of Chicago Bulls starting center Joakim Noah. You truly have to look twice at his overall stats. 4.6 assists per game? For a center? That is just insane and surreal on so many levels.
Recently, though, Noah’s passing has skyrocketed to unknown planets. In a recent win over the Toronto Raptors, Noah had a head-twisting 13 assists, which marked the third time in the month of February Noah racked up 10-plus assists in a game. Again, that’s insane. He’s the best passing big man in the game.
The Dallas Mavericks, though, play the Bulls in Dallas tonight, and the team obviously can’t afford to be mesmerized by Noah’s otherworldly passing skills. Those passing skills which have soared of late are the primary reason why the Bulls are too deadly right now. So the game plan for Dallas should heavily focus on not allowing Noah to draw a double team and find the open man.
That is, of course, easier said than done. Defending a point guard who’s dishing out ten assists in a game is one thing, but the unconventional aspect of defending a center who possesses such passing prowess is as tricky as it gets, especially for a Mavericks team that has struggled on defense all season long.
Noah’s father, tennis legend Yannick Noah, as well as his grandfather, former professional soccer player Zacharie Noah, obviously passed on some amazing genes to him. Noah is yet to become a father, so he hasn’t done his part in passing on those genes. He does, though, pass basketballs at a very high level, so the Mavericks better be worried about that tonight.