Are You Joakim: Noah Should Be On The NBA All-Star Team

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIJanuary 29, 2010

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 12: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls blocks a shot by Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics at the United Center on December 12, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees 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)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I suppose I shouldn't be greedy with Derrick Rose becoming the Chicago Bulls first all-star since Michael Jordan in 1998, but I really think Joakim Noah got jobbed not making the team.

What steams me even more is that his former Florida teammate, Al Horford, beat him out for the post position.

For a guy who looked like Bozo on draft day, Noah is no clown.

Comparing the two, Horford averages 13.6 ppg along with 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Noah is at 11.3 ppg with 12.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

Looking at the numbers you might not think there is much of a difference and statistically there isn't. But when you watch them play on the court, there is no doubt who the more valuable player to his team is.

Noah is the second best player on the Bulls, and until Rose recovered from his preseason injury and got back to full strength, he was the one keeping them in the race.

Horford is maybe the fourth best player on Atlanta; definitely behind Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford.

You also have to take into consideration the magnitude of the numbers pertaining to the position. Rebounding, blocked shots, and defense are more important to the post position than scoring, and Horford is only averaging a bucket more a game than Noah.

His numbers are very pedestrian for a center, especially when you take his rebound numbers into account.

Noah is second in the league in that category. He wipes the glass clean on the defensive end, and he's like the energizer bunny on the offensive boards, constantly hopping around until he either tips in the bucket or gets it out to a teammate for another shot.

An intangible that doesn't show on paper is his hustle. Is there a player in the league that plays harder on a daily basis than Joakim Noah? If you're watching the Bulls day in and out, I know your answer is no.

He's also vastly improved as an offensive player. He can put the ball on the floor and drive to the hole and finish. He's also got a couple of nice moves around the basket along with a baby hook that is effective.

I know he's got one of the ugliest outside shots in the NBA, and based on that shot, he looks like he just started playing the game, but it's also starting to go in more often. It doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it goes down.

Or course as always, there are outcries from other cities that their players didn't make the team.

The "Big Apple" is crying over the exclusion of David Lee and I can't blame them. He's another player that goes all out and probably deserved to make the team, but I think the system he plays under with the Knicks and Mike D'Antoni tends to pad statistics. I don't think he would have those numbers if he played for someone else.

People say Horford's teammate Josh Smith should have made the team, but for the position he played, his numbers are nothing special. Looking spectacular at times doesn't warrant an all-star berth. Otherwise Tyrus Thomas of the Bulls would be on the squad.

There are a few other players including Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks that were mentioned as possible omissions. had a poll of the East's biggest snubs and Noah, Lee, Smith, and Bogut were on it with Lee getting 42% of the vote, Smith 41%, Noah at 10% and Bogut at 8%.

Obviously the voting was based on numbers, which should not be the only criteria when selecting a player for the team.

Sean Devaney of Sporting News Today even had the gall to suggest Derrick Rose shouldn't have made the team. In his blog, he said, "As nice a season as Rose has had, he really shouldn't have been an all-star, not yet, at least."

He continued with "putting him on the team, coaches who voted for the reserves ignored more worthy candidates."

He then went on to name Josh Smith and two players from the Western Conference that Derrick Rose had no influence over.

Without Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls would be the New Jersey Nets.

Why not name the aforementioned Horford who denied his teammate Smith?

What about Paul Pierce, who made the team on reputation and isn't really an all-star anymore?

The bottom line is there are always going to be debates about who should have made the team. Fans are going to be homers and back their home town favorites.

You could accuse me of that too.

But watching Noah play this year, and looking at his competition in the East, no one can tell me he didn't belong on the team.



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