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Joakim Noah: 5 Things He Needs to Improve to Be Considered an Elite Center

Hayden CoombsCorrespondent IIIJuly 28, 2011

Joakim Noah: 5 Things He Needs to Improve to Be Considered an Elite Center

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    Let's get one thing straight: Joakim Noah is a great basketball player.

    As a matter of fact, he is one of the best centers in the world. The only problem is that the overall quality of the center position is down—way down.

    For Joakim Noah to become a truly elite center, not just a great one in today's league, he has a few things he needs to improve upon.

    By expanding his game, Noah would not only become a dominant force against inferior competition, but he could provide the final push the Bulls need to become NBA champions once again.

1. Get Stronger

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    Adding more muscle would help him become a real stopper against any post. That being said, adding weight becomes a little more complicated because of his body type and narrow shoulders.

    If he could develop his body more, Noah would have no problem dealing with the more physical bigs.

    He already excels as a shot-blocker and locking down finesse posts, and adding some upper body muscle shouldn't take away from his quickness or athleticism.

2. Develop a Complete Offensive Game

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    You can't become an elite player without contributing on both sides of the court. Well, unless your name is Steve Nash, that is.

    Last season, Joakim Noah averaged just over 11 points per game. That's OK, but not what the Bulls need from him.

    With Carlos Boozer constantly fighting the injury bug, having Noah consistently produce 15 points per game would be huge for the Bulls.

    He already shoots over 75 percent from the line, so developing a reliable jumper out to 15 feet should do the trick.

3. Keep Maturing

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    Joakim Noah has feuded with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, fans and even the entire city of Cleveland, OH.

    While Noah may be able to back up most of his talk, he really should just keep his mouth shut all together.

    I'm not against a little trash talk or saying that I don't love his personality (look at that suit!), but it's no secret that he needs to grow up and not let his emotions get the better of him.

4. Clutchness

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    While Joakim Noah is never one to back down from a challenge, his game in the playoffs this past season took a step back.

    Both his rebounding and scoring averages went down when his team needed him the most.

    Even though he may have been nursing an injury, this performance was especially disheartening to Chicago fans after we all witnessed him average 15-13 in the playoffs the year before.

    For Chicago to make a run through the Eastern Conference, Noah will have to come through against teams like Boston and Miami.

5. Consistency

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    One thing about Joakim Noah is that you never know what you're going to get. One night he'll explode for 28 points, the next night he finishes with four or five.

    That inconsistency was quite visible during this past year's playoff run.

    In a way, being a consistent contributor plays into all the things previously discussed. Consistently working on his body, working on his shot, watching his mouth and coming through when it counts would definitely make him a top-five center in the world.

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