Dec. 14, 2016
Knicks Fans Should Not Give Up on Joakim Noah
The New York Knicks center Joakim Noah has been criticized all season so far due to his lack of scoring. Jo signed a 4-year $72M contract during the offseason leaving the Chicago Bulls. Many basketball fans criticized Knicks' president Phil Jackson for signing the 6'11" 230 pound product from New York to such a contract. Noah last season only averaged 4 points and 9 rebounds in 22 minutes per contest. Noah was replaced by Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson in the starting lineup, which was a mistake in my opinion.
So far this season, Noah still looks the same as he did last season. He is only averaging 4 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes pretty much just like last season. Knicks' fans have done nothing but criticize Noah which is very wrong. Knicks' coach Jeff Hornacek needs to simply play Noah more, around 28-30 minutes per contest. It seems like Noah is only playing the first and third quarter in game this season which is very disappointing because Noah deserves better. Hornacek needs to trust Noah more.
After the Knicks' loss to the Thunder on November 28th, Joakim Noah said, "I want to play better, obviously. I know personally I have to play better for this team to get to where we want to get to".
His teammate Carmelo Anthony said, “I don’t want to say it’s a struggle, I think he is trying to come back and figure it out. It’s hard being out and coming back and trying to fit in. It is going to take some time for him to get back to himself.’’
I agree with 'Melo' because Noah still needs to get used to the Knicks offensive and defensive sets realizing that he in no longer in a Bulls' uniform. Noah will get where the Knicks need him eventually, but will just have to give him time.
Noah's best game this season by far was when they played the Bulls in Chicago. Noah scored 16 points and 9 rebounds in 35 minutes of action. In that game the Knicks won which was considered an upset. This proves that Hornacek needs to play Noah more minutes because he deserves it. When the Knicks played the Heat earlier this month, Noah scored 10 points and 10 rebounds in only 14 minutes! That game was Noah's first double double of the season, in a game where Noah shown his passion for the game of basketball.
Another factor why Noah has not scored as much is because he is surrounded by 3-point shooters. Derrick Rose is an average 3-point shooter while Courtney Lee is on fire from downtown. Then of course there is Carmelo Anthony who is the Knicks' best shooter and you also have Kristaps Porzingis who splashes the 3-ball constantly. Noah is surrounded by such great talent that all he has to do is pass the ball and set screens. Noah is best for his offensive rebounds and his picks. Noah is also one of the best passing big men in the league which also helps the Knicks.
I think that if the Knicks want to be title contenders, then Hornacek must play Noah more. I would play Noah for the first seven minutes of the first quarter, then bring him in the second quarter with six minutes remaining. Play him in the third until three minutes are left and then bring him back in the game with seven minutes remaining in the fourth.
Noah has not been able to score as much because of the amount of minutes he has played. Plus backup center Kyle O'Quinn has been exeptional in scoring and rebounding which makes it even tougher for Noah to get minutes. The rookie Willy Hernangomez has been really good this season too. The more the talent - the less the minutes.
Once Noah starts getting more minutes, his confidence will rise again and become the energetic player he used to be. Noah still shows love and passion for the game of basketball but you can tell he is miserable by the lack of minutes he has played. If Hornacek plays Noah more, then the Knicks will be greater yet.