Joakim Noah back to his old self

Joakim Noah back to his old self

Bulls fans have noticed that Joakim Noah's been back to his old self. His shooting percentage is back up, his numbers are back in line with his career averages, and he's affecting wins again.

He opened up recently about the reasons for the slow start:

"Yeah, no question, I thought about that," Noah said. "Sometimes you feel like because you're given so much money you're expected to do things. That's not the right mentality to have as a player.

"I have to play my game. I have to have fun out there. If I don't, I'm not the same player."

"I've always been a player who reacts well to criticism and doubters," Noah said. "I feel my teammates were always behind me. But I knew as well as anyone how poorly I was playing. And not only wasn't I playing well, but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wasn't playing loose out there. I was playing tight.

"In the beginning of the year, I was overthinking a lot. I was going through a lot of things personally. I feel a lot more comfortable now. I have to stop overthinking and just play."

"That's what was so tough about (the slow start); I know I worked so hard in the offseason," Noah said. "It wasn't a question of being out of shape. I might be in a little better game shape now. But I came to camp in great shape."

An interesting array of quotes from Noah. To be fair, I never saw conditioning as one of Noah's big problems with his poor start. It just felt like his timing was off to me, his tips wouldn't fall, his hustle wasn't generating the impact that it normally did.

I think the shortened training camp certainly had an affect on him [like many players around the league]. However, regardless of the root cause, it's great to have the good Joakim back. When playing at this level, he's one of my favorite players on the team to watch.

Filed under: News

Tags: chicago bulls, Joakim Noah, nba

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  • Happy that Noah is back to his normal play with his double-doubles. That said, we have to see if:
    1. He can sustain this production against good front-courts(we know he will suffer against Howard type centers). That's ok. But, if he can sustain his energy and kind of complement Asik against those guys, that would be ideal.
    2. His help-defense as good as it is, should become smarter. He over-helps and gets burned in crucial positions. He needs to get smarter and manage his energy.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree that Noah can be guilty of overhelping. Though that really depends what the defensive structure calls for. That's only a fault if Thibodeau isn't asking him to do it.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    dough Incorrect assumption....Thibs is not asking Noah to pick up cheap fouls.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree, we don't know if the instances of overhelping are on Jo or if he is executing what Thibs is asking of him, but the other guys are not helping the helper, the so called 5 guys on a string theory.

    I think that it is a little of both, but Jo seems to overhelp less when he is paired with Gibson, even though they haven't shared a lot of minutes this season.

  • Hamilton and Deng both out tonight vs. the Sixers. Looking for big games from Rose, Noah, and Boozer tonight and at least one of Brewer, Korver, or Watson need to step up as well.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    I'll be there in my D Rose shirt rooting against the home team! Philly fans are crazy though, so I'll have to keep it under control or I'll have to watch my back on the way to the car in the parking lot!

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Haha, good luck!

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  • Remember the commenter who had "faint hopes" that Noah would ever play well again when we were like 10 games into the season? I think it was Nancy from Schaumburger...what a genius...keep up the nonsensical posts...

    Noah always needs to get into the flow of the season...not just conditioning but just getting into his own little freak flag rythym. I love that guy!

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    I was the one who had faint hopes and this stretch doesn't mean Noah is a legit all-star.When he makes those tornado shots consistently, that's when he can become the second best player on the team which he was in the beginning of last year.
    Don't pretend that you know if Noah will become an all-star and he will keep this up. Stop with the personal insults as Noah is just a bball player and both of us are fans. You are one of those guys who screw up healthy debates and act like fools

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't know if Noah will become an all star, nor do I know if the tornado will ever fall consistently. I do feel pretty confident that when healthy he will continue to be a top 10 center in the NBA.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    and of course when u say top 10 u are comparing Noah to true centers and not guys who can jump higher to compensate for their lack of physical stature...Luckily looking at the list of those in the east there are.... (Blank)...... centers!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    even though I fundamentally disagree with most of your shots at Noah, I totally agree that it is inappropriate to take shots at people just because you disagree with their opinions.

    Unless, of course they take shots at you first, then all bets are off.

  • I was never really that worried about Noah.

    Deng and Hamilton, however...that's something worth being concerned about. At this point, you have to wonder if Hamilton will be able to get to 100% by playoff time, and what will become of Deng's injured wrist. Hopefully it's not a situation like Noah last year, where he tried to play through the pain, but was ineffective and needed the surgery.

    If both these guys aren't in top form by the post-season, getting past Miami will be difficult, to say the least.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    I'm more concerned about Rip than Deng. The team has an idea of the severity of Deng's wrist injury, and unlike Noah's injury last year, Deng's injury is to his oft hand. Though I do agree that no one knows how effective Deng will be when he returns.

    Rip's groin & thigh injuries are tricky. The compressed schedule affords players less time off and less time to rehab injuries. These injuries need time and rest to heal. I wouldn't mind seeing Bulls management shut down Rip for the time being, because the team definitely needs a healthy Rip for the playoffs.

  • In reply to stepbackJ:

    Groin Pulls – How Long to Heal?

    When I played ball I twice had groin pulls. They are very annoying and they linger for a long time. I doubt Rip can rest for 2-3 weeks and suddenly become healthy.

    When do groin pulls heal? In the off-season, with 2-3 months rest!
    Rip is 34 years old, he will be dealing with this injury all season. I am very concerned about Rip staying healthy enough to play through 4 playoff series.

  • In reply to stepbackJ:

    Actually, until we see Deng play, we have a lot to worry about as to the level of his effectiveness, since he will likely be playing injured all season, if he can play at all.

    If we have to we can just shut Rip down for a few weeks to get his legs 100%.

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    In reply to BullsMan:

    it was reported earlier by the medical staff that Hamiltons groin will not be 100% even if he sat now through the season. With enough rest and time off, can be healthy enough to play in the playoff, but not 100%. Deng will not be 100% either, but unlike Hamilton Deng has to play has to deal with rest to pain ratio and so any given hit can, keep him in a game, put him on the shelve for the short term or end his season including the playoffs altogether. Only surgery and complete rehab of 4+ months will allow him the rightful path to 100% recovery. Outside that, we need to ensure no bulls players are around Boozer's gym bag.

  • In reply to jomama:

    Does Rip's prognosis mean it's J.R. Smith time?

    Realistically, Bulls must assume Rip cannot stay healthy through 4 playoff series. Bulls must plan accordingly.

  • In reply to Edward:

    even if we wanted him, the only way we get him, is if he wants a partial year rental type contract to set him up for a bigger free agent payday this summer.

    If he wants to get paid now, the Bulls have no shot, not just no interest.

    In any event, I expect tonights game to be very ugly, win or lose.

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