Noah Notches Rare Triple-Double
By Brian Martin
On Tuesday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra summed up the play of LeBron James (40 points, 16 assists) and Dwyane Wade (39 points) in their double overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings with three words: "Video game numbers."
Two days later, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also used three words to describe the play of Joakim Noah, after he pulled off a rare triple-double with 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks: "He was spectacular."
Both phrases are correct and could be interchanged with one another, as "video game numbers" also accurately describes Noah's performance, the likes of which the NBA hasn't seen in 15 years, when Shawn Bradley posted the last 20-point, 20-rebound, 10-block triple double in April of 1998.
In fact, only four other players have accomplished the feat in the last 25 years -- Noah, Bradley, Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon (twice). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Noah became the first player in NBA history with 20+ points, 20+ rebounds and 10 blocks while shooting 65% from the field -- he finished the night at 66.7% (8-of-12).
20+ Points, 20+ Rebounds, 10+ Blocks Triple-Doubles in Past 25 Years
|Joakim Noah||Feb. 28, 2013||23||21||11|
|Shawn Bradley||April 7, 1998||22||22||13|
|Shaquille O'Neal||Nov. 20, 1993||24||28||15|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||Nov 11, 1989||24||21||12|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||Dec. 17, 1989||32||25||10|
This was Noah's second game this season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, with the other coming on Dec. 7 in Detroit, as Noah posted career highs with 30 points and 23 rebounds in a win over the Pistons.
This was Noah's first game with double digit blocks in his six-year NBA career. His previous career high in blocks was eight back in 2009 against the Timberwolves. And his 11 blocks on Thursday tied the Bulls record for blocks in a non-overtime game, set by Artis Gilmore in 1977. Noah also became the third player this season to record a triple-double consisting of points, rebounds and blocks -- joining Milwaukee's Larry Sanders and Indiana's Roy Hibbert.
Joakim Noah Career Triple-Doubles
|Feb. 28, 2013||vs. Philadelphia||23||21||1||11|
|Dec 18, 2012||vs. Boston||11||13||10||3|
|Feb 22, 2012||vs. Milwaukee||13||13||10||2|
This was Noah's first triple-double including blocks, his previous two were the more traditional Points-Rebounds-Assists variety. Thursday's performance was also Noah's first triple-double to come with either 20+ points or 20+ rebounds -- he achieved both in the same game.
Noah has posted 20+ rebounds seven times in his career, with two coming this season and four coming in a two-month span during the 2009-10 season (Nov. 10 - Dec 31).
A closer look at Noah's rebounding numbers provides some interesting insights.
On Thursday, Noah's rebounding rate -- the percentage of available rebounds he grabbed while on the floor -- was 21.9 percent for total rebounds, 17.0% for offensive rebounds and 26.5 percent for defensive rebounds. As expected with a 21-rebound night, he out-performed his season averages of 16.8 percent (total), 11.9 percent (offensive) and 21.6 percent (defensive).
And while his rebounds per game are at a career-high 11.4 this season, Noah's rebound rate this season is the second lowest of his career (16.8%), ahead of only his rookie year (15.2%). His best rebound rate came during the 2009-10 season at 20.3 percent.
But even if his rebounding rate is down from his previous seasons, Noah has been crucial for the Bulls on the glass and defensively this year. A closer look at the Bulls' On/Off Court Summary shows that the Bulls' defensive efficiency (102.8 points allowed per 100 possessions) and net rating (-3.3 point differential per 100 possessions) are at their worst when Noah is off the floor.
In addition, the Bulls' rebounding rate is 52.3 percent with Noah on the floor, tied for the second highest on the team, just below Taj Gibson at 52.5 percent. The team's rebounding rate falls below 50.0 percent only when Noah is off the floor.
Noah's On/Off Court Summary
|Noah On Floor||99.9||97.2||+2.8|
|Noah Off Floor||9.5||102.8||-3.3|
On Thursday, Noah's efficiency ratings on the offensive (100.6) and defensive (84.7) end were outstanding, as his on-court net rating of 15.8 helped the Bulls seal up an 11-point victory over the Sixers and helped Noah achieve a feat that put him in elite company in the NBA record books.