Joakim Noah closes out all star game delivers star performance

Joakim Noah closes out all star game delivers star performance

Joakim Noah described the all-star game as weird, awkward, and fun. When asked what's awkward, he said "Just the locker room, it's not my favorite part". In other words, don't count on Noah to have recruited any stars to come to Chicago this summer. However, on the court? Unlike Luol Deng in past years, Joakim Noah actually fit in.

He looked a little awkward in his first stretch when he would rotate around and play defense. He was the piece out of sync with the rest of the floor, as no one else attempted to make a rotation which caused his quality defense to actually have a negative impact on the floor.

However, when it became a real game, when both teams started competing, a strange thing happened. Rather than getting token minutes, Joakim Noah played the entire fourth quarter, the only minutes where the game actually is competitive and means something. Another strange thing happened, he looked like he belonged.

Noah didn't take over the game, but he had six points, two assists, and a couple boards in the fourth. He rotated well on defense to help seal off the paint, and helped the East get an unexpected win.

While Noah may not have won friends and influenced people in the locker room, at least he looked like a legit star on the court. If Derrick Rose comes back healthy, the Bulls will still look like a team with an awfully good core to build from. Hopefully Carmelo Anthony took notice, even if the odds are slim.

NBA Trade deadline looming

With just three days to go until the NBA trade deadline, the Bulls are expected to make no moves. Chicago is just a shade under the luxury tax and can't afford to take on any additional money due to the possibility of Taj Gibson winning performance incentives for defensive player first/second team this summer.

With no room to maneuver financially, the Bulls would likely only add salary for a superstar player, and there's no real pending rumors that any are available. Chicago also doesn't need to dump any salary or make any other immediate moves. They're not going to give up future assets to improve this team for obvious reasons.

Perhaps they'd sell off some assets if someone wants to pay a hefty price, but it seems unlikely that anyone is going to offer good value for what the Bulls have right now, and Chicago won't sell at a discounted price simply for the sake of doing something.

In short, the Bulls have no pressing needs, so they'll only be involved in a deal if someone else has a pressing need they're willing to fill. Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy remain the only players on the team that I think have a real chance of being moved and only if some other team decides to give the Bulls a nice offer for one of them.

With Dunleavy's game falling off since the Luol Deng trade and Kirk Hinrich's constant injury situation as well as pedestrian play (that's being generous more times than not), I would find both players also unlikely to move.

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    Noah didn't take over the game, but he had six points, two assists, and a couple boards in the fourth.

    Sounds like a star to me Gee what was there 300 points scored in the game and he had 6 of them wow what a star

  • In reply to Michael Slowik:

    Maybe it was more of a way to take the mandatory jab at Luol Deng rather than praise Jo for his performance.

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    In reply to Michael Slowik:

    Scored more than stars called "Bosh" "Parker" "Nowitzki" "Aldridge" "Johnson" "Millsap"...

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    In reply to Michael Slowik:

    Saw that fourth quarter, and Noah was vital in the East building its lead. Six key points. He did look like a star.

  • He had a nice dunk in the first half too.

  • I thought he was a star. I was very excited to see him out there in the 4th when people started taking it seriously. It was the 4 starters and Jo. It makes sense to site Wade (who is aging and has injuries), but you'd think with Frank Vogel at the helm, he might lean on Roy Hibbert down the stretch. Maybe he didn't want to take an injury risk for his own big man, but it was the right choice, either way. He was boxing out hard, taking fouls when necessary, making great passes and hard cuts to force the opposing defense to move. Everything he does for the Bulls!

  • Apparently, ESPN noticed what a good job Noah did in the game, they gave him an A- :

    http://espn.go.com/nba/allstar2014/story/_/page/scorecard-east/nba-all-star-game-2014

    After leading scorers Anthony and Irving, nobody did more to help the East win than Noah, who scored just eight points. But Noah was effective in the pick-and-roll and a solid presence on defense, adding five boards and an impressive five assists to his final line.

  • Agree with Doug. Jo was a significant factor in winning that game in the fourth. Despite my view that Bulls players are hyped somewhat, IMO a true fan of the game could see Jo did indeed have an impact late when it counted.

    The first guy LeBron high fived as the buzzer sounded was Joakim Noah. He(James) wanted to win that game for whatever reason perhaps recent West domination or West was the heavy favorite, and he made the effort to find Noah and congratulated him as winning teammates would and should.

    Despite the enigma somewhat that is Joakim Noah including injuries, there's no doubt he's a fighter. If he had played with better players and a good all around coach, his level of play would have risen as he is a winner.

    Maybe the Bulls get Rose back healthy, he plays pretty well, and they finally bring in some offensive talent to this ball club. And Jo stays healthy to enjoy it. That would be nice.

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