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Wednesday, November 21, 2007
David Thorpe on Joakim Noah


ESPN's Thorpe has always been a huge fan of Joakim Noah, and has watched him closely for years. Here are some things he has noticed about Noah in the NBA, from Thorpe's massive report on rookies:

The Bulls have helped Joakim Noah a little with his perimeter shot, raising the release point a bit from where it used to be. Now he has to work on shooting with just one hand. His left thumb almost always turns toward the rim on his release, a common mistake that can be corrected with work. ...

In college, most players on their way to the NBA are the focal point of their teams. Plays are run for them, strengths are emphasized in the game plan and weaknesses are hoped to be hidden. Consider one of my favorite rookies, Chicago's Joakim Noah. He could not consistently make the 16-foot shot at Florida, but his coach still wanted the ball in his hands at that range because he could drive by many of his opponents, or use his deft passing touch to feed the ball inside or reverse it for a 3. It was a main cog for the terrific Florida offense.

But Scott Skiles is trying to get no less than four veterans enough "touches" to keep them happy and in rhythm. Noah's strength as a playmaker will have to wait.

Noah is also not bad with the microphone, I'd like to point out.