Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah may not score like a star, but that does not limit his status as one of the best big men in the league. In fact, he has been the best big man in the East so far in the 2012-13 season. He is also indispensable for the Bulls, as their energy and defensive tone setter and vocal leader. He fights for every rebound, every loose ball and is as versatile as they come. There is no doubting that Joakim Noah has become a star in the NBA.
Noah’s stat line is extremely impressive, with, 12.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game, in 38.6 minutes per game. Those numbers may not be elite, but his incredible defense, hustle and energy do not show up in his stats. His 4.3 assists are first in the NBA among big men and the Bulls are able to run the team through him, whether in the post, at the top of the key, or even in the fast break, as he is a fantastic ball-handler and passer. His court vision is also unheard of for a big man and with his complete set of skills, there is no other player like him in the NBA.
When drafted, he was basically a hustle player, with defensive and rebounding skills, but his improvement on offense is what has transformed him into a complete player and a star. He has become an excellent mid-range shooter, despite the ugliest looking jump shot in the NBA, shoots 81.1 percent from the free throw line and has developed a stable of low post moves, since entering the NBA. He is also one of the better offensive rebounders in the NBA, at 3.7 per game. He keeps countless possessions alive and creates second chance opportunities all game long for the Bulls. Along with his previously mentioned elite ball handling and passing skills, he has gone from an offensive liability into a weapon with the ball. Adding that he is an All-NBA defensive player and he is one of the most versatile and unique players in the NBA.
Along with his offensive and defensive skills, he has an infectious energy and attitude, which has made him a fan favorite in Chicago and hated by every other NBA team and fan base, which is a rarity. There is simply not another player like him in the NBA and with his incredible versatility on offense and dominance on defense, he has become a star in the NBA and as of now, Joakim Noah is the best big man in the Eastern Conference.