Joakim Noah Better Than Carmelo Anthony?
Wait... wait... before hitting me over the head with a shovel for that seemingly idiotic proclamation, let me explain myself.
No, I don't believe that as of right now Joakim Noah is more talented than Carmelo Anthony. But I do believe that Noah is better than Anthony…
…for the Bulls.
Anthony is no doubt one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA and has the talents to make any team a playoff contender. But to my judgment, Noah could offer more to the Bulls than Anthony can.
The game of basketball is determined by more than just points. And as we witnessed—no pun intended—in last season's playoffs, games weren't determined by superstars and scorers, they were determined by hard-nosed defense and a hefty portion of resolve.
The Bucks showed a glimpse of this, nearly taking out the favored Atlanta Hawks and without their starting center, Andrew Bogut.
The Celtics were the epitome of this nitty-gritty approach, going all the way to the Finals and nearly getting that second Larry O'Brien Trophy in only three seasons.
I do understand the appeal of an Anthony-Rose-Boozer teaming.
On paper, the Bulls would seem a true contender. And they probably would be. But I don’t think it would be enough to win it all. Not against a truly championship caliber team. Not one that plays championship caliber defense.
Should the Bulls include Joakim in a trade for Carmelo?
The fascination fans have with superstars has overtaken the reality of how the game truly functions.
For the last two seasons, many believed the Cavaliers would win it all. But beyond winning tons of games in the regular season, Lebron nor his Cavs demonstrated they had what was necessary to become a championship team.
Superstars do not win championships. Teams do.
People can allude to the fact that most championship teams have had players like Jordan, Magic, Bird, Russell, Olajuwon, Duncan, and many other greats.
But the Bulls already have that in Derrick Rose. In fact, many analysts agree that Derrick Rose will be better than Dwyane Wade in no time at all.
And by his solid showing in the World Championships and with his now newly developed three-point shot, D-Rose is quickly on his way to fulfill that assessment.
But just as pretty much every championship team has had a Jordan, a Magic, or a Bird, those very same teams have had players to plug in the holes, provide those intangibles that are so very necessary to venture all the way to the promised land.
And I'm not talking about the Scottie Pippens, the James Worthys, or the Kevin McHales.
I'm talking about the Dennis Rodmans, the Michael Coopers, and the Danny Ainges. That type of player is very rare to come by.
And the thing about Joakim Noah is that not only is he exactly that type of player, but he also has the potential to become much more.
If healthy, Noah could be a regular double-double machine for the Bulls and an All-star not only next year, but for many years to come.
He could very well lead the entire league in rebounding, and virtually become one of the top centers in the NBA.
And Noah is no doubt on his way. He puts in the hard work. He trains nearly every day at the Berto Center with coach Tom Thibodeau, a coach known for helping in the development of players such as Yao Ming, Rajon Rondo, and yes, even Kobe Bryant (at 14, mind you).
Add to that Thibodeau's defensive genius, and you have Noah quickly becoming a defensive powerhouse.
The saying goes that good centers are hard to come by. But the Bulls already have one in Noah.
So, should he be traded for Anthony? I think my answer would be pretty obvious. Noah simply provides so much that Anthony simply cannot.
Now, should the Bulls trade Deng, Gibson, and Johnson for Anthony? That’s another story.
But I'd still have some reservations because of depth issues among other things, but it's a trade I'd stomach a lot more easily.
You could put that shovel away now.
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