Cut two heads off the Chicago Bulls' "Big Three" and the body will flail around awhile before sending up the white flag, right?
Joakim Noah? Coming off a week in which he recorded two triple-doubles, the seventh-year center is thriving. As the lone remaining star in the Second City, Noah has the Bulls overachieving their way to one of the best records in the NBA (22-10) since January 1.
Joakim Noah has 20 games of 6+ assists this season. All other centers in the NBA combined have 18 such games.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 3, 2014
That number now stands at 22.
In the last month, Noah has matched or set a number of assist records concerning the center position.
- February 19: Became the first center to notch 13 assists in a single game since Divac did it back in the 1995-96 season, per Basketball-Reference.com.
- March 2: Recorded 14 assists, most by a center in a single game since Sam Lacey did so 35 years ago.
- March 5: Tied Brad Miller for the second-most games of at least 10 assists in a season since 1985-86 with five. Divac's nine in 2003-04 are the most.
Then there's this:
Joakim Noah is the first Center to lead his team in assist since 1993-94 David Robinson did it. pic.twitter.com/giTcIpSat1— M² (@MykeMitch) March 2, 2014
And the Bulls still have 20 games to play.
The MVP award has always been a two-horse race between Kevin Durant and LeBron James, but there are still five spots on the ballot. Some people are starting to believe Noah deserves one of them:
On my MVP ballot that I don't actually have, I'd have Joakim Noah third on it.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 2, 2014
With that in mind, let us pay homage to the hardest working player in the NBA by reliving his 10 best games of this three-quarters-finished season. Jo's stat line forms the basis for assessment, but extra weight was given to critical late-game plays, as were his individual on/off numbers.
Note: All stats and recaps courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise noted