Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bulls Links (Luol, JoaNoah, All-Star Ballot)

Luol Deng’s push for 2010 Most Improved Player

It’s too easy to start rolling out predictions and watch lists two weeks into the season. Unlike football, where two weeks means you’ve only played two games, two weeks of the NBA translates to almost 10 games, a good enough sample for most to gauge how a guy is going to play for the next 7-8 months. That’s why Steve Nash, Carmelo and Kobe are already running an MVP race, Brandon Jennings is running away with R.O.Y., and Ron Artest and LeBron are vying for Defensive Player of the Year.

So if he isn’t already on the ballot, here’s my early vote for Luol Deng as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

Joakim Noah or Greg Oden? Who's better?

So if you had to pick the 2007 draft today, would you take Joakim Noah instead of Greg Oden?

Admit it, you had to think about it.

Is Joakim Noah the third best center in the NBA?

According to John Hollinger’sPlayer Efficiency Rating, Joakim Noah (23.36) currently ranks behind only Dwight Howard (28.21) and Tim Duncan (25.04) among centers. (Noah ranks 15thoverall among all players.) He’s also in the top 10 among centers in True Shooting Percentage (10th at .625), Assist Ratio (10th at 17.3), Offensive Rebounding Rate (10th at 13.2), Defensive Rebounding Rate (10th at 27.2), Rebounding Rate (8th at 19.9), Value Added (5th at 34.7) and Estimated Wins Added (5th at 1.2).

To sum up: Noah is one of the league’s best centers based on almost every advanced metric Hollinger currently has to offer on his ESPN page. (Go here for an explanation of each.)

Not sure I'd say 3rd best overall, but can you name 5 under-25 centers you would rather have?? And speaking of that, JoaNoah was snubbed while 2 Bulls bench players made the ballot ...
Deng, Hinrich, Miller, Rose and Salmons represent Bulls on 2010 NBA All-Star ballot

Joakim Noah is the spice in Rick Morrissey's salsa escapade

Yesterday I made the case that he has to be considered an All-Star candidate, so it's not like I don't appreciate Joakim Noah's skills as a basketball player.

But he's off the charts when it comes to cheerleading.

You have probably heard about Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey eating his own column, with salsa.

When Noah was drafted, Morrissey wrote a column called "You Must Be Joakim" predicting Noah would be a bust, and promising to eat his column, with salsa, if Noah turned into a good NBA player.

When I finally saw the video, one thing stands out: Joakim Noah is not only there watching, but he's up out of his chair, cheering and dancing!

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