Another night, another triple-double for Joakim Noah

by Mar 5, 11:50 PM

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah recorded the sixth triple-double of his career - and third of the season - against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, earning himself a spot in the record books. 

Noah had 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in 35 minutes. It was his second triple-double in three games. Of note: Only Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen have more triple-doubles in Bulls history. 

"A triple-double is nothing to him," said Noah's teammate Jimmy Butler. "We are starting to expect that from him. He does so many things well that it makes it easier for the rest of us." 

Noah hurt his right thumb in the contest, and left the game wearing a protective brace, but said the injury wasn't serious. "Just a little boo-boo," he said. "I'll be all right." 

The Bulls hope that's the case, because Noah's playing the best basketball of his career right now. 

Most importantly: did you know the triple-double machine is also a rock-paper-scissors enthusiast?

[Courtesy: Twitter/@_MarcusD_]

Mar 7, 11:59 AM

Joakim Noah will play through thumb sprain Friday

by Mar 7, 11:59 AM
Mike DiNovo / USA Today Sports

Despite spraining his thumb during Wednesday's victory over the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will suit up on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Noah downplayed the injury after Wednesday's game and it wasn't considered serious, but it's still positive news that he'll be able to play. Noah has quite clearly been the Bulls driving force this season, unexpectedly leading them to a battle for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Now a second-tier Most Valuable Player candidate and a near lock to make an All-Defense team, Noah is averaging 12 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 blocks. 

Should he maintain those averages, it would mark just the ninth time in NBA history a player has done so, and Noah would join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2), Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett (4) and Bill Walton as the only players to have accomplished it. It would also mark the first time since Hedo Turkoglu in 2008-09 that a player 6-foot-10 or taller averaged 4.8 assists or more.

The Bulls face several tough tests in the coming days, hoisting Memphis on Friday, Miami on Sunday, San Antonio on Tuesday and Houston on Thursday. Needless to say, you can expect coach Tom Thibodeau to play Noah 48 minutes a game, thumb injury be damned.

Feature photo courtesy of Mike DiNovo / USA Today Sports

Mar 6, 11:16 PM

Report: Initial tests show Bulls' Joakim Noah has sprained thumb

by Mar 6, 11:16 PM

There's no indication that Joakim Noah will miss any time, but the right thumb injury that he picked up against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night has reportedly been diagnosed as a sprain.

Noah has been on a tear in March, posting two triple-doubles in three games along with an assist rate you almost never see among centers. And of course, his defense has been as solid as ever.

The injury is understandably concerning for a team that's pushing for home-court advantage come playoff time. But again, there's still no reason to believe that Noah will be forced to miss any time.

Chicago's next contest goes Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mar 6, 2:56 PM

Noah's thumb injury not considered serious

by Mar 6, 2:56 PM

Joakim Noah has been the driving force behind the Chicago Bulls in the post-Derrick Rose, post-Luol Deng 2013-14 season. Perhaps he was always the driving force.

Noah has greatly improved his profile over the past couple of months, to the point that his heroics are beginning to earn him MVP chatter. No, he won't unseat LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the top two players in the league, but his importance is incredibly obvious to a Bulls team that, on paper, doesn't have much business being 34-27.

Noah is averaging 12 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 blocks for the season, but even if the assist rate is crazy for a center, the numbers don't do his impact justice. He's the defensive anchor and the team's spiritual leader.

And the Bulls very nearly found out what life without Noah would be like on Wednesday, as the center re-injured his right thumb, forcing him to wear a protective brace after the game.

Noah downplayed it, of course, calling it "Just a little boo-boo," but there was cause for concern for Chicago as they battle for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

On Thursday, word came out that the thumb injury is not considered serious. The Bulls had the day off so there was no update from practice, but it doesn't sound like Noah is expected to miss any time.

Chicago hosts Memphis on Friday night and Miami on Sunday, providing a pair of serious litmus tests for the league's second-best defense over the past two months.