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Three Stars of the Night: All Purpose Big Man Edition

Jan 29, 2013, 12:40 AM EDT

Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur

Defense. Rebounding. Points in the paint. Toughness.

When you think of an NBA big man, these are likely the qualities you’re looking for. You want the guy who can get your team baskets close to the rim, stop the other team from doing the same, and do it all while giving your team a sense of physicality.

Of course, you also want your big man to have great skill and feel for the game. Because while all those other traits are great, being able to play through your big man at the high post is also a tremendous asset. Being able to give him the ball at the elbow, survey the defense, and make the right read to an open teammate, is invaluable.

Tonight, our Three Stars give you the best of both worlds. They are the all-purpose bigs. Let’s go…

Third Star: David Lee (21 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists)

Every night David Lee just continues to prove why he’s making the all-star team next month. Offensively, he’s just a load with touch out to 20 feet and the ability to finish with all varieties of shots in the paint. And, with Andrew Bogut back, Lee’s improved defense should become even more reliable. But the most underrated part of his game is his facilitating, where Lee often works with the ball in his hands around the edges of the Warriors offense playing set up man for their other scoring threats. Against the Raptors, this part of Lee’s game was on full display as he zipped passes to Klay Thompson and Steph Curry for open jumpers and tapped touch passes to Bogut for dunks inside.

Second Star: Joakim Noah (13 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks)

There may not be a big man in the East playing a more well rounded game than Noah. Of course, his defense is some of the best in the league, both in the pivot and in blowing up pick and rolls with his quickness and smarts. And while he’s not the biggest scoring threat, he does well enough on that end to help his team. And when you add in his tremendous passing from the high post in the Bulls’ offensive sets where off ball screens are being used to compensate for Derrick Rose‘s absence, Noah’s full game is simply a joy to watch. Well, unless you’re the opponent, like the Bobcats were tonight. Noah’s work on the glass and in setting up his mates were just as big to the victory as Jimmy Butler‘s continued strong efforts on offense or Nate Robinson getting hot. There really aren’t that many big men that can give you the type of night that Noah did.

First Star: Marc Gasol (27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, game sealing block)

On most nights, Gasol gives you all-star level impact but not necessarily the numbers to go with it. But, maybe  the West coaches should have chosen Gasol to the all-star team and saved themselves this level of fury, because sine he was snubbed he’s giving the numbers and the impact. Against the 76ers, Gasol brought all aspects of his offensive game, scoring in the paint and from range with his jumper while also bringing his trademark elite passing. His jumper was wet and his defense was rock solid too. And when the game was on the line, he got the block that sealed the game.

  1. broncobeta - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Joakim Noah as a Star of the Night with a win over the Bobcats? Impressive numbers, don’t get me wrong. However, this is still the Bobcats.

    How about Gallo with 27 with a win over the Pacers?

    • chicitybulls - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Noah had a damn near triple double. His second near one in a row. Bobcats or not, not many centers are giving you that. Nice scoring night by Gallo but Noah had a more complete game.

      • broncobeta - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Dude… it’s the Bobcats.

      • chicitybulls - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        And? It’s an NBA team. Did Mosgov or Javale do it against the Bobcats? Unless you’re underestimating an NBA player’s ability. If so I suggest you take a look at what Brian Scalabrine did against “regular” guys. Some were former collegiate players. Dont go there and diminish an NBA players skill. Dont be like Kurt. A guy with no skill but try to diminish a pro athlete. You’re better than that.

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Anything I say on this blog about a players skills are relative. I play pickup still, I see these guys in person, anybody that thinks the 12th guy on an NBA bench wouldn’t own a major college game, let alone some pickup contest at the Y, is a fool.

      • chicitybulls - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Fair enough. So do you think that Noah’s line is not that impressive because, as bronco put it, “its the Bobcats”?

        By the way bronco, when the Nuggets played them neither of your centers came anywhere close to what Noah put up. Combined all 3 of your centers had 11 rebounds 0 assists.

      • broncobeta - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Oh seriously? You can call me a fool, but you’re going to censor my comment about how you won’t correct any of the glaring inaccuracies from your older articles? Or about how the feature set of this blog is atrocious (categorize articles, please)?

        And chicitybulls, I’m kidding around about the Bobcats thing. They are better than any college team and deserving of the pros (this year at least).

      • chicitybulls - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        It’s cool. All in good fun.

  2. pudgalvin - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Not to mention that’s the second time in seven years that anyone in the league has hit all those numbers. Gallinari had 27 points and not much else. 4 games in a row now for noah getting 15+ rebounds.

  3. chitownmatt - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Last night, the Bulls played Butler and Deng together along with Noah and Boozer.

    Combined, that is an awful lot of feet and inches for any other team in the NBA to deal with.

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