Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah continues to cut a swath of destruction through the Eastern Conference, recording his second triple-double in three games during Wednesday's 105-94 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Noah scored 10 points (on 5-of-7 shooting) to go with 11 rebounds and 11 assists. His precision passing helped him join an elite club for big men, per Bulls announcer Jeff Mangurten:
Joakim Noah is the first center to record 3 triple-doubles involving assists in a single season since David Robinson in 1993-94.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 6, 2014
This was the sixth triple-double of his career and third this season, drawing Noah even with Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry for second in the league. Only Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers has more, with four.
Noah has proven to be versatile in how he records triple-doubles in his career, as four of the six have come via points, rebounds and assists, while the other two were of the "points, rebounds and blocks" variety.
After the game, Noah walked into the locker room with his thumb in a splint, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson. He jokingly played off the injury:
Noah was playful about this thumb situation. Called it "just a little boo-boo."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 6, 2014
All kidding aside, Noah's thumb has given him trouble before. He missed 30 games following surgery to repair a ligament tear in that same thumb in 2010.
The last thing the Bulls need is to lose Noah during what is likely the finest stretch of his NBA career. He has stepped up his game following the injury to Derrick Rose and the trade of Luol Deng. He is Chicago's unquestioned leader on the court, not to mention the team's most talented defender, rebounder and passer. The man can do it all.
* All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.