You Can't Hate On Joakim Noah

Bare KnucksAnalyst IMay 2, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 26: Kendrick Perkins #43 of the Boston Celtics is fouled by Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls as Tyrus Thomas #24 leaps to block in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 26, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Celtics 121-118 in double overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

So no one likes this kid out of Florida. Many believe his antics are over the top. Basically he’s a complete toolbag. But Joakim is playing almost 40 minutes per game this playoff series, which is first among centers this postseason, while scoring 11 PPG this series.

He also distributes the ball well creating 2.4 APG. Maybe his best asset this series is his ability to hit the boards with 12.4 RPG, which is third in the league this postseason. Oh and by the way, he’s among lead leaders during these playoffs with 2.4 blocks per game.

Joakim is playing the best basketball of his career, putting the right kind of attention on him for once. His intensity incites energy, which is exactly what is propelling these young Bulls in contention with the defending champion Boston Celtics.

Noah is proving to be a matchup problem for the Boston big men. He is to athletic for Perkins while being too long and athletic for the more stout Big Baby and Powe.

Joakim Noah may not win any popularity votes, but he will earn your respect through outstanding play on the court. Despite amassing only nine points in the game six win against the Celtics, Noah stole Paul Pierces pass and then went coast-to-coast for the old fashioned three-point play that coincidentally also disqualified Pierce from the game.

Without Pierce’s closing capability the torch was handed to the capable Ray Allen to carry his team offensively. Allen put up a worthy effort but came up just short. [Read more...]