Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah Has Become MVP-Caliber Player This Season

By Tracy Martin
NBA Awards Race: Tom Thibodeau Joakim Noah MVP
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

With all due respect, the Chicago Bulls should not be where they are right now. Their star player Derrick Rose was injured early in the season, and one of their prized players Luol Deng was traded last January for nothing but a draft pick and some cap space. Yet the Bulls stand here today, near the top of the Eastern Conference, looking to make a big impact come this offseason.

How did this happen? Well, that answer is simple: star center Joakim Noah has carried the team on his back and emerged as one of the greatest players in the league. Now with MVP conversations swirling around him everyday, one important man in his corner has come forward and given his opinion.

When asked if Noah should be in the pool of MVP contenders, coach Tom Thibodeau responded in the affirmative, adding how much the center has helped the team in essentially all aspects of the game.

Thibodeau was not just blowing wind, however. Statistically, Noah is having the greatest year of his career so far. He’s averaging 12.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks on 34.8 minutes per game. He’s had three triple-doubles, and he flirted with several more. Additionally, Noah has picked up Rose’s slack in the assist department, putting up an impressive 5.1 assists per game.

Obviously, this whole conversation about the MVP award might be for naught as the winner may have already been decided. The current two front-runners, Kevin Durant and LeBron James, have been waging a dogfight for the award, with either man jumping ahead of the other seemingly every other day. But after this season, Noah deserves to be recognized as the ‘most valuable player’ Chicago has had in years.

Tracy Martin is an NBA writer for Follow him on Twitter @TracyMartin23 or add him to your network on Google.

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