It was a treat seeing Joakim Noah in the All-Star game last night. He did indeed seem to care a bit more than a lot of others out there, and admitted as much afterwards to KC Johnson:
I can't half-ass it or else I would really look like (crap) out there
That intensity provided pure entertainment throughout the game, seeing the way he'd run the floor and glare at officials throughout and know he was on a sort of different speed. Johnson observed that Noah showed 'no ill-effects' of his plantar fasciitis injury, a condition for which he underwent some treatment in the off-days leading up to the weekend. I'm not so sure, but it was worth it to see him out there, even in a meaningless game.
The fun started on the intros, as Noah did his 'jazz hands' routine which was sadly the most excited any player got during the introductions. I hope Derrick Rose is happy. Noah provided a few good GIFs, which is currency for an event like this.
- here's Noah crossing up Zach Randolph. He also blocked (!) a Randolph shot in the first half.
- Noah leading the fast break and elbowing Chris Paul in the face on his way.
And finally, Noah daring to play defense, though he was bested by Paul (the game's MVP).
(you can find more GIFs and highlights at SBNation.com)
Noah was in the East's closing lineup ahead of Chris Bosh winding up with 16 minutes, and finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists.
Luol Deng shared a lot of court time with him, though he wasn't as entertaining and went 1-5 from three on his way to 10 points.