Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah Went From Underrated to Overrated With One Performance

By Robbie Marbury
Mike Dinovo-USATODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have had a tumultuous season that has been marred in injury and lost hope. The front office decided to part with Luol Deng to save some money, Derrick Rose will be in street clothes until the 2014-15 season starts, and Tom Thibodeau is running every remaining Bulls starter into the ground.

On Sunday, Chicago was reminded of the one bright spot from this season, Joakim Noah. The All-Star center posted his fifth career triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists) to lead the Bulls in a 109-90 victory over the New York Knicks, and now the perception is that he should be an MVP candidate. Yes, that really happened.

Noah’s performance was sensational as it has been this entire season, but it sent the Twitterverse into a tailspin of Noah praise.

Steve Kerr‘s reaction was very disheartening. He is normally the least hyperbolic media guy out there, but saying Noah would be his third choice of players to have in a Game 7 behind only — LeBron James and Kevin Durant — is insane.

What about Chris Paul, Kevin Love, James Harden, Dirk Nowitzki, Stephen Curry, Dwight Howard or Russell Westbrook? I think Noah is the second-best center this season, with Howard being No. 1, but Roy Hibbert is right there with Noah, and so is a healthy Marc Gasol. No one is saying that either of them is even in their top 10 players they would want to have, let alone top three.

Kerr wasn’t the only media member that went off their rocker after Noah’s brilliant performance; Royce Young of CBS Sports said he would have Noah third on his fictional MVP ballot. The fact that their are two people that are paid to know a lot about the NBA thinking Noah is having the third-best season is incredible. He has been great, but come on guys, let’s not kid ourselves.

What Noah did on Sunday was phenomenal, but let’s be real, he did it against the Knicks. New York officially clocked out on this season at the All-Star break. They are 1-7 since the break, and are currently on a six-game losing streak. He was fantastic, but let’s not act like he dominated a meaningful game. When Rose is healthy, Noah is only the second-best player on his team, so stop with all the MVP talk.

Robbie Marbury is an NBA writer for Follow him on Twitter @rmarbury, and add him to your network on Google+

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