Feel free to quote me on this. Currently, the best frontcourt combo of power forward and center in the NBA consists of Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. In my opinion, there isn’t another pair of players in the league right now at those positions who are playing at the level that these two are.
If I were to make a case for two other guys around the league, the most comparable duo in terms of impact would probably be DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. In Griffin, you are talking about the guy who will possibly finish third in the NBA’s MVP race when voting concludes. On the other hand, Jordan is the league’s top rebounder, is a devastating force in the paint defensively, and has the top field-goal percentage due to the fact that he tops the league in total dunks.
Going back to the Eastern Conference, Noah and Gibson are helping to drive the Chicago Bulls in the right direction at the right time. Joakim’s play has been nothing short of spectacular, and the rest of the league is now aware of that. Noah may not want to acknowledge it and he may not even come close to winning it, but he should receive a considerable amount of votes in the MVP race.
Gibson has flown under the radar for far too long now. I’d be willing to bet that his name won’t even come up in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation. It seems as though the only time he will get some national recognition is when he puts an opposing player on a poster. He happened to have a nice slam on Kris Humphries tonight in the game against the Boston Celtics. It wasn’t as emphatic as the one Griffin put on Humphries two months ago, but you get the picture.
The only thing that really holds back Gibson at this point is the fact that he has been asked to defer the starting role and a significant amount of court time to Carlos Boozer every game. He hasn’t complained about it. He gets the boatload of time in crunch time because he and Noah are Tom Thibodeau’s best defensive options for holding teams off in the fourth quarter.
If Noah and Gibson can keep their level of play constantly growing from game to game, there are going to be a lot of teams that won’t know what hit them come playoff time. Wins like the one tonight against Boston are expected, but they definitely showcase both players’ abilities on both sides of the ball.