Joakim Noah and Lance Stephenson Lead NBA with 4 Triple-Doubles Each

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2014

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah walks towards the bench during the closing minutes of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Friday, March 28, 2014, in Chicago. The Trail Blazers won 91-74. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah matched the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson with his fourth triple-double of the season on Wednesday night. 

The Bulls prevailed, 102-87, over the Minnesota Timberwolves, thanks in large part to Noah's line that consisted of 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. That kind of assist total is always noteworthy coming from a big man, but it's become par for the course with Noah this season.

In point guard Derrick Rose's absence, he's averaging 5.2 dimes per game this season. 

Noah has answered Chicago's call for a dynamic play-maker, saying he embraces the challenge. "I feel real comfortable making plays for my teammates, being aggressive when I have to, just taking it day-by-day, trying to get better in every aspect of my game," Noah said, per Chicago Sun-TimesJoe Cowley. "All this stuff is just giving me more confidence, and I want more."

Noah's versatility hasn't been lost on the record books according to Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:

Unique is a good word for Noah, who broke Tom Boerwinkle's 43-year franchise record for most assists in a season by a center. Noah finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Bulls won for a season-high sixth straight time. He now has 398 assists this season, one more than Boerwinkle had in 1970-71.

The Bulls will need more of the same as they battle for postseason seeding and look to take advantage of that seeding. The team currently sits at fourth in the Eastern Conference, tied for wins and losses with the third-seeded Toronto Raptors

Chicago is winner of six in a row and has four more games to overtake the Raptors for that third seed. They'll face relatively soft opposition in the process, facing the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats before the regular season comes to an end.

Stephenson, the other league leader in triple-doubles, has had a breakout season averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists—all career highs by a long shot.