With the Bulls going into the All-star weekend with a huge victory over the league leading Spurs, the Bulls appear to be firing on all cylinders. The Return of Noah should only add fuel to the fire that is the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have won 17 of their last 23 games which equates to a .739 winning percentage. Let’s look at 5 ways that Noah’s return could spell out the Bulls getting home court in the Playoffs.
5. Easy Adjustment
Of all the important players on the Bulls, Noah is the easiest one to move back into the lineup without disturbing the flow of the team’s offense or defense. The Bulls are simply going to move Kurt Thomas to the bench and insert Noah. Noah does not demand the ball or disrupt things on offense. In fact his abilities on the glass and knack for making plays and running the floor instantly makes the Bulls better on all fronts.
4. Picking up the Pace
One thing, amongst many, that Noah does better then Asik and Thomas is run the floor. The Bulls have not been a great transition team since Noah has been out. Noah’s ability to run the floor will change all that and Derrick and Joakim can start pushing it again against slower opponents. Quick buckets are simply underrated and the Bulls’ offense sure could use some more help in that department.
The Bulls are already leading the league in rebound differential, but what they are missing is Noah’s keen ability to grab offensive rebounds and thus hand the Bulls another opportunity to score. Second chance points are going to be important for this Bulls team as they lack scoring at the shooting guard position and getting another chance at the basket will help to mask this issue a bit.
Sure Big Sexy stood up and did a heroic job of filling Noah’s shoes while Noah was out, but Kurt simply lacks the size, length, and agility to deal with today’s centers. Noah on the other hand can stay in front of most centers and has the length and strength to bang down low with all but the biggest of the big. Noah adds another shot blocker to the mix and his overall heart on defense will be felt the first second he steps on the floor. A great defensive team just gets better.
1. Vocal Leadership
We all know that Noah is a good rebounder and defender, but his vocal leadership is way underrated. Great teams always have that player that screams after a big play and encourages his teammates to be even better. Boston has Garnett in that role and we have Noah. The effect of this ability is constant and passive and cannot be measured but it can win Playoff games and Noah has it in abundance.