Chicago Bulls: 6 Steps Joakim Noah Must Take To Improve His Game
His consistent energy lifted the team and fans beyond what opposing forces couldn't handle. Noah shut down his man in nearly every opportunity he was given, whether that player was a small forward, power forward or center.
His versatility on defense is a welcome site in the Windy City, but here is what he can do to take it a step further.
Joakim Noah is always noted for his defensive ability and for good reason. His defense is remarkably ahead of his offense. He can hit the occasional layup or extremely short-range jumper, but outside of that, he is shaky at best.
If he could provide a consistent, short, mid-range jumper, it would give the Bulls another offensive weapon that they desperately needed against the Miami Heat.
Avoid the Injury Bug
Joakim Noah has missed 52 games in the past two seasons, including 34 this previous year. If he and teammate Carlos Boozer both stay healthy all season, do the Bulls win more than 62 games?
Do they stay in their flow and play much better in the playoffs, specifically against the Miami Heat? Injuries, along with hurting teams, create "what if" moments for that team's fans. Nothing is worse than losing and wondering "What if we stayed healthy?"
If Noah can stay on the court and keep in his flow, his game will have more time to develop and he could become a dominant big man in the NBA.
Watch His Mouth
I can recall a few instances where the television producer regretted putting his cameras on Joakim Noah just in time for Noah to yell an "F Bomb."
My favorite, however, comes against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. The Bulls were just on a run and Atlanta called timeout. It showed the Bulls getting ready to huddle up when an unfortunate cameraman strolled on the court to get a good view, only to be greeted by Brian Scalabrine and Noah screaming "Get the 'F' off of the 'F'in' court."
Yup, even Chicago's favorite orange-haired seven-footer has a potty mouth.
Circumstances like this make Joakim Noah look somewhat unclassy and gives an opportunity for him to be fined and put a small shadow on the Chicago Bulls franchise, including his expletive yelled at a fan.
The fan probably deserved to get yelled at, but Noah has to learn to ignore them and keep playing. If he lets fans get in his head, how does he handle his opponents' trash talking?
Continue To Pass the Ball
As we saw at times this season, Noah has a pretty decent ability to distribute the ball. He knows how to find the open man whether it be from the top of the arc, or a low-post backdoor, behind-the-shoulder pass for an easy layup.
With that kind of court vision as a center, it definitely makes it much more difficult for defenders to stick to their man.
Get to the Free-Throw Line More
Despite his absolutely horrendous form, Noah actually shot 74 percent from the charity stripe, which is pretty good for a big man. Unfortunately, he only averaged four free-throw attempts per game.
If Noah can draw more fouls with pump fakes and aggressive moves, his point total will definitely increase and he can become more of a force in the league.
Cut His Hair
Come on Joakim Noah! Get that thing cut. We've been looking at it since your Florida days. I mean, you have to get hot during games with that much hair, I bet you could increase your minutes from 32 to about 37 per game without that much weight holding you down.
It may be a patented look, but it definitely isn't a good one. Other than intimidating your opponent, I don't see any pros in holding onto those failiccles.
I had to finish with a pun. Thanks for the read and comment with what else you think Joakim Noah needs to do to improve his game.