Why a Healthy Derrick Rose Will Ride Joakim Noah's Improved Offense to A Title

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Why a Healthy Derrick Rose Will Ride Joakim Noah's Improved Offense to A Title
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Even though star point guard and team leader Derrick Rose is out recovering from major knee surgery, the Chicago Bulls are 3-1 thanks to center Joakim Noah finally breaking out offensively. 

The former Florida Gator is averaging 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and even two steals per game as he does a great job stepping up in Rose's absence.  Once the 2011 MVP comes back, having a player to help shoulder the load on offense will surely bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy back to Chicago.

Look at it this way.  Though the Bulls were the best team in the NBA each of the past two seasons, the offense was a bit one-sided.  Rose averaged 24 points and 7.8 assists per game without much consistent help.

The best scoring options behind him are Carlos Boozer, who has been disappointing since coming to Chicago and nothing like the 20-10 machine he was with the Utah Jazz, or Luol Deng, who can hold his own in scoring but cannot take control of a game in the same way that Rose can.

That being said, having the highly improved Noah in the mix is going to be nothing but good for the Bulls once Rose comes back.  The two will forge a strong relationship and raise each other's game for years to come, picking up a title or two along the way—maybe even one this year.

Though the Bulls have fallen short each of the past two seasons—look at the majority of teams that have won it all in the past—particularly in recent years.  Each winning team's deadly tandem, for lack of better word, is almost always a good scoring guard and a solid big man.

In San Antonio, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan have won three titles together.  Their skills mesh well and selfish play never gets in the way of the team succeeding.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant won three consecutive titles as a deadly guard-big man combo

The same can be said for the Los Angeles Lakers' teams of the past decade.  Their three-peat squad was headlined by the hot-scoring Kobe Bryant and the dominating Shaquille O'Neal. More recently, Bryant has continued scoring with Pau Gasol taking over as the solid big man.

One could go on and on about NBA teams that have won championships with that very formula, but that's not the point.  The point is that the Chicago Bulls have been the best team in the NBA for a reason in the past two years, but have also fallen short for a reason.  Win-loss records are meaningless in the playoffs, and the better overall team always wins out.

If the Bulls are to become that team, their reliance on Rose needs to ease up just a little bit.  Noah has proven that he can carry a team, which we knew he could do after seeing him win back-to-back national championships at Florida in 2006 and 2007.

Can an offense focused on Rose and Noah win a championship?

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If Rose and Noah can learn how to work together the same way the previously mentioned championship teammates did, then the Bulls today will finally be able to move out of Michael Jordan's shadow and establish themselves as a new dynasty.  With Rose and Noah controlling the majority of the offense and everyone else contributing as needed, the possibilities for the Bulls are limitless.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau needs to immediately start drawing up plays for the two to run once Rose is fully recovered.  As my grandfather would say, "the man has the recipe for Coca-Cola, and it's time for him to start filling some bottles."

Assuming those plays work, Rose and Noah could soon be opening some bottles—as in, some championship champagne.

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