Joakim Noah scored 20 points, 7 assists, and 5 blocks for the Chicago Bulls in Sunday’s game versus Miami Heat. Noah filled up his team’s stats and led them through an overtime victory with a final score of 95-88.
The Miami Heat are the two-time defending champions and have eliminated the Bulls twice during the last three seasons, making Sunday’s game a special treat for the center. Noah is on his seventh year in the league and has just made the All-Star team for the second consecutive year.
Noah says his hate for the Heat isn’t personal, and stems more from wanting what the other team has: “I want a championship,” he says, and he knows that to get there, his team has to beat the Heat first. “I want everyone who wears a Bulls jersey to work. We’re going for one thing. That’s the championship,” he says with conviction.
Joakim Noah is what you call HEART... He has it! Gotta love him for it... The man played a hell of a game
— Cantu (@WhatItDo_Cantu) March 10, 2014
Joakim Noah wants to win more than anyone in the NBA... One of the fiercest competitors I've ever seen! Gotta love watching him play!!!
— Ryan Mahoney (@Mahoneyx4) March 9, 2014
Noah took the reins with the absence of Derrick Rose, who is sitting out the season to recover from his knee surgery. Rose was the team’s dominant scorer, and without him, the Bulls have had to win games by playing good defense, something that Noah says they work on every day.
“Defense is all about repetition, having trust in your teammates,” he says. He gives credit to the Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau for his drilling in the defensive aspect of the game.
The Bulls have a lot of strong opponents to face in the coming weeks, including the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, and Oklahoma City Thunder. Noah keeps his eye on the prize—the championship. “One day, I want to party in Chicago and I want to see what that feels like.”
Shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who scored 16 points during the game and guarded the Heat’s star player LeBron James, was all praises for his teammate, saying that Noah was a great leader who “puts the team on his back every night.”
You gotta LOVE Joakim Noah if you're a basketball fan. He's everything that is right with the NBA. Hustles on both ends of the court.
— Grand Marquise (@mKfly) March 9, 2014
Joakim Noah's Top 10
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