Joakim Noah is clearly having a career year. He's locked down three of his six career triple-doubles in the second half of this season and is leading our Bulls offense in total assists. While you can certainly pick apart aspects of Noah's game, namely his trademark-tornado-jumper, the 29-year-old has proven himself to be the leader Chicago needs to push them to the playoffs during a tragic "Rose-less" season.
Now, you may be thinking, "Gee, Jim. Thanks for telling me things I already know, but what makes you think our boy Noah has it in him to be the fifth player in NBA history to tack on a quadruple-double?"
Well, Joakim certainly is no Hakeem Olajuwon, but he has the track record he needs to stuff the stat sheet, and since the All Star break, the consistency.
Of Noah's six triple-doubles five of them have been in rebounds, assists, and points; also, all of them had been at the United Center until Noah broke that mold March fifth against Detroit; but the French/Swedish New York-born-pro has proven before to have double digit blocking power when he achieved his third triple-double around this time last season. Just three days after his 28th birthday Noah recorded a massive triple-double against the 76ers where he tacked on eleven blocks. Five of those blocks came against Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young, who at this point is arguably their main offensive force in an undersized and stripped-down Sixers team.
The 76ers are a shell of the team they were last year sans Spencer Hawes, and without Evan Turner's outside shot and the replacement they wanted in Danny Granger to boot. They have become a young team with plenty of athleticism, but with decidedly the worst defense in the NBA, and since being stripped to a skeleton of a team prized rookie Michael Carter-Williams has been doing the bulk of the ball work, as one of three remaining offensive weapons, where he has hit 36% of his field goals since the break, and is clearly being worn down.
I'm sure every Bulls fan realizes what little threat the Sixers pose and hasn't been looking forward to their road game on March 19, or even better their home game against the Sixers on March 22, because we all assume to achieve a win and aren't expecting much of a fight from Philadelphia against arguably the best defense in the league.
However, maybe now we'll all be excited for a different reason entirely, not just a win, but a chance for the second Bull to achieve a QD since Nate Thurmond, a chance for Joakim Noah to not just be mentioned in league MVP talks, but to be a serious contender!
Clearly Noah can stack up double-digit scoring and rebounding efforts, and recently he has been posting fairly consistent double-digit assist efforts. Furthermore, he has posted double-digit blocks against a lesser Philadelphia team before, so why not again? Why not at the United Center with Windy City fans flashing their "Noah pistols" at a depleted Sixer squad?
My one concern is that since Philadelphia lacks a competent defense the Bulls will embellish in many fast-break opportunities and won't need to run their offense through Noah, and will feel obliged to bench our big man in the event of a blow-out. Even if that weren't to happen the odds are against our All Star, but if anyone could do it this season, it would be Joakim Noah.