BY: DAVID ANTHONY
With the recent signing of Joakim Noah, the garden faithful will witness something that is quite rare. A great passing big man. The NBA has been trending in moving their bigs away from the paint. Yes a post up game is cool but can you shoot a three, can you razzle and dazzle with your dribble. Players like Durant, Lebron and Porzingas all exceed 6″7 yet all of these players can play on the perimeter.
The modern day big can not just post up, he must defend, run the pick and roll and shoot beyond 15 feet. Players like Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony Towns have all transitioned the center position. Yet they still lack a certain skill that a more modern day big like Noah has perfected.
Noah can not shoot the 3 but he can pass the ball better then some guards. Let’s also not forget that Noah is a recent defensive player of the year. Most Knick fans wont forget the 14 assist game he had against them. I bet you didn’t know Joakim had another 14 assist game against the raptors. Tell me the last time a Knicks player had 14 assist in a game? (Go ahead I’ll wait)
After reading that you might ask just how good of a passer is Noah? So I have compiled a list of some of the best passing bigs in the NBA and compared them to Joakim Noah. Lets take a look:
Marc Gasol: Career average 3.1 assist per game, Career high 4.0 assist per game, Career high 11 assist in a game, 3 times Gasol had double digit assists in a game
Al Horford: Career average 2.7 assist per game, Career high 3.5 assist per game, Career high 10 assist in a game, twice had double digit assist in a game
Joakim Noah: Career 3.0 assist per game, Career high 5.4 assist per game, Career high 14 assist in a game, 14 times Noah has had double digit assist in a game
Once you compare Horford’s and Gasol’s number to Noah’s their are a few things that stand out. The career high numbers Noah has put up far exceed Gasol and Horord, not to mention that that Noah has had 14 career double digit assist. Compared to the 14 assist Jose Calderon had in his entire career as a Knick (don’t quote me on this) and Noah looks pretty damn good in the orange and blue.
Now lets take a look at the golden child for passing bigs, Draymond Green, and see how his numbers stack up against Noah’s.
Draymond Green- Career 3.4 assist per game, Career high 7.4 assist per game, Career high 16 assist in a game, 22 times Green has had double digit assist in a game
While it is clear Draymond’s numbers are better then Noah’s it’s also not a stretch to say they are at least comparable. So did Jackson just sign a 30 year old Green minus the outside shooting (and nut kicking)?
Not exactly but as I said the stats do favor each other. Throw in the fact that both players are tenacious defenders and all around pest on the court. As both players have been known to get under the skin of many NBA players, yet both are highly respected.
While Jackson is crossing his fingers and knocking on wood that Noah stays healthy, many around the NBA probaly don’t want to deal with a smooth passing center who has weapons like KP and Melo. If Noah can just give the Knicks 60 games it would be a huge boost for the club.
Now if he could only work on that weird looking jump shot of his.
LIKE IT LOVE IT OR HATE IT PLEASE COMMENT BELOW. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY INSTAGRAM PAGE @ALLKNICKSEVERYTHING