Joakim Noah: 5 Most Memorable Moments from the All-Star Center's 2012-13 Season
Noah recorded career highs in points (11.9), rebounds (11.1) and assists (4.0), earning him his first trip to the All-Star game.
While Noah had a number of solid performances during the year, these are the ones that stand out the most.
Note: The criteria that was taken into consideration in compiling this list included games in which Noah recorded at least 15 points and 10 rebounds.
5. Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns: Nov. 14, 2012
Although Carlos Boozer's 28-point, 14-rebound performance was the focal point in the team's 112-106 win over the Suns, Noah had a solid outing in his own right.
Noah scored 21 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out five assists.
Another aspect of Noah's game that often gets overlooked is his speed. In this video, Noah steals the ball and runs nearly the length of the court for an easy slam.
Few players at the center position can run the floor with the same quickness as Noah. This is one of the many reasons why he was so valuable to the Bulls this year.
4. Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets: Mar. 18, 2013
Joakim Noah and the Bulls were out for revenge after the Denver Nuggets had throttled them 128-96 a month earlier.
While Noah's stat line of 14 points (7-of-10 shooting), 12 rebounds, seven blocks and six assists were impressive, that is not what most fans will remember from this game.
With 1.7 seconds left to play, Noah appeared to tip in a missed shot by Marco Belinelli. Upon further review, the officials overturned the basket. As a result, the Nuggets escaped with a 119-118 win.
Per ESPN, Noah had this to say about the basket that wasn't:
That's what is frustrating. How are you going to review that one, but you can't review the one two plays before it. I just know the refs are doing the best they can in those situations, but it cost us the game today, it's disappointing.
With the loss, the Bulls dropped to 36-30, marking the team's seventh defeat in 11 outings.
3. Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons: Dec. 7, 2012
Trailing the Detroit Pistons by as many as 17 points in the first half, the Bulls appeared to be on their way to a disappointing loss.
However, thanks to Joakim Noah's 30 points, 23 rebounds and six blocked shots, the Bulls edged the Pistons 108-104.
While Noah scored a majority of his points off missed shots, he also showed the ability to take his man off the dribble, while hitting the mid-range jumper as well.
Per ESPN, Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank offered a unique perspective on Noah's performance. "Noah had a double-double in both halves. That's just flat-out effort. He had 30 points and 23 rebounds, and they didn't run a single play for him."
With the victory, Chicago extended its winning streak over Detroit to 16 games.
2. Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Feb. 28, 2012
Joakim Noah double records an impressive triple-double (23, points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocks) in a 93-82 win over the Sixers on February 28.
The Bulls were in the midst of a two-game losing streak and were looking to get back into the win column against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Behind Noah's 23 points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocked shots and three steals, Chicago successfully snapped its two-game skid with a 93-82 victory.
Not only did Noah record a triple-double, but he also became the first player in NBA history to record 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks in a game while shooting 65 percent from the field.
Per ESPN, Sixers head coach Doug Collins offered the following excerpt on Noah's performance. "Noah is so lively and he's so active and he's just on the move all the time. If you don't get your body on him, he's just going to be nightmares around the rim. He's got a great motor."
With the way Noah anchored Chicago's defense this season, one can only wonder why he didn't receive more votes for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
1. Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets: May 4, 2013
Joakim Noah recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots to help the Bulls close out the Nets in Game 7.
After taking a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, the Bulls dropped two consecutive games and would need a road win to advance to the next round.
In one of the biggest games of the season for Chicago, Noah made good on his bold promise. He scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. In addition to that, he recorded six blocked shots as well.
While Noah's triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers in the previous slide was certainly worthy of the top spot on the list, this performance ranks No. 1 because not only did Noah predict a victory for his team, he backed up those words with solid play on the court.