Joakim and jump shots

In addition to improving his defense and rebounding, did you realize that Joakim Noah improved his jump shot last season?

No, really.

In case you’re not familiar with the Hotspots feature, here’s a link. Now, take a peek at Jo’s hotspots chart from the 2008-09 season:

shot chart 1

Now check out his hotspots chart from 2009-10:

shot chart 2

In 2008-09, Noah attempted only 13 shots outside of the “around the rim” area. According to Hoopdata, he didn’t even attempt a shot from 16-23 feet.

In 2009-10, Joakim wasn’t going crazy from the outside, but he attempted 100 more outside shots than he did the previous season. What’s more, he shot 40 percent of better in multiple zones. And according to Hoopdata, Jo hit 40 percent of his shots from 10-15 feet and 43 percent of his shots from 16-23 feet.

Now, I’m not in any way suggesting that Noah transformed himself into a crack outside shooter. And no, I certainly don’t want him chucking up jumpers instead of attacking the rim any more than I wanted Tyrus Thomas doing that when he was still a member of the team.

That said, developing the ability to knock down the occasional outside shot is good for Joakim’s game and his teammates’ games as well. Defenders learned that if Noah was out on the perimeter, they could sag waaaay off him to double other Bulls players, disrupt passing lanes, etc. What’s more, when the ball swung to Jo, his defender didn’t even bother to run out on him.

If Noah can hit midrange jumpers with relative consistency, opposing defenses won’t be able to cheat off him and muck things up for Chicago’s other offensive players. Furthermore, it might allow Jo to develop a Brad Miller-like head-fake-and-drive move.

Frankly, I liked seeing Joakim become more aggressive on the offensive end last season. In addition to the random jumper, Jo also developed a little jump hook with either hand (although he does tend to favor his right hand on hooks). That kind of assertiveness should help his game continue to grow.

22 Responses to Joakim and jump shots

    Savage August 5, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    I agree it looks like one aspect of the game he has worked hard on and really improved. Last year I was actually glad when he put up some mid range shots. It helps keep defenders honest and like Matt mentions it also opens up the possibility for the head fake and drive to the basket. He actually has a very quick first step and gets to the rim very quickly.

    kennykashVIII August 5, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I know this may sound crazy, but I believe the Bulls can flirt with 60 wins this season. The reason I say that is part hunch, part math. When you think about it, the Bulls are now very similar in makeup to the Utah Jazz teams we’ve seen over the past few seasons. The difference is, I actually like this Bulls team better. At pg, I’ll take D Rose over Deron Williams. While D Will is one of the better pg’s in the game, I believe Rose has the potential to be a truly transcendent player in this league(I expect him to start the all star game and be a top MVP candidate this year). At sg, it’s Ronnie Brewer vs Ronnie Brewer(although he was traded at the deadline last year, he has seen a great deal of the minutes at the 2 spot for Utah over the last couple of seasons and, by all accounts, was D Will’s favorite backcourt running mate). In this matchup, I’ll actually take the Bulls’ version of Ron Brew. I believe the increased role and a defensive gameplan catered to his strengths will give him increased confidence, resulting in a more effective Brewer than the Utah version. That brings us to sf, where we have Luol Deng vs Andrei Kirilenko. These are very different players. What AK gives you in freakish D, Deng gives you in a much more polished offensive game. Lu actually has one of the most reliable mid range jumpers in the game. Both players have had their share of injury woes, but Kirilenko has missed considerably more time than Deng, if I’m not mistaken. Lu is also an adequate defender in his own right. Plus, regardless of what people say about Lu, the guy is 18 and 8 every night. Advantage: Bulls. At the pf, it’s Boozer vs Boozer. I expect Boozer to bring the same type of stats and intangibles to the Bulls that he did for Utah, so I’ll call this one even(although I have a gut feeling we’ll see a slight improvement in Boozer’s D under Thibadeaux…apologies to Jerry Sloan). We round out the starting 5 by analyzing the center position, where we’ve had Memhet Okur for Utah and Joakim Noah for the Bullies. This is perhaps the biggest mismatch of all the pairings. The reasons why JoNo is better than Okur are too obvious and too many to mention(as if this comment isn’t long enough already). Let’s just say advantage: Jo…by a landslide. Next, we have bench. I’ll keep it brief with a quick rundown: Gibson vs Milsap-even, Korver vs Korver-edge: Bulls…KK will get more burn and more touches, C.J. Watson vs C.J. Miles-edge: Jazz…barely. After that, I’m not overly concerned with the guys at the end of the bench. As long as you round it out with professionals who know their roles, you’ll be fine. Now for coaching. While Jerry Sloan is one of the most consistently good coaches the game has ever seen, I expect Tibbs to nab Coach of the Year honors…nuff said. Finally, and perhaps the main thing that makes me believe the Bulls will come close to 60 wins, look the S.O.S.(strength of schedule). Think about it…the Jazz win 50+ games every year playing in the WESTERN CONFERENCE!!! That means they play far better teams way more frequently than the Bulls. Put your typical recent Jazz team in the Eastern Conference; they would have won 60+ every year…easy. Thus, if we have a better team than those Jazz teams, yet get to play the likes of Detroit, New Jersey, Washington, Indiana, Philly, Toronto, and Cleveland 4 or 5 times a year, it’s not unreasonable to assume the Bulls have a great chance of eclipsing what those Utah teams did, at least record-wise. GO BULLS!!!!

  3. reggie August 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Nice Kenny the comment about the 60 wins flirting with and all I am glad to see bulls fans getting ready for a big season I myself am excited as a mofo, and optomistic that this will be a challenging yet great year for the bulls I can see that they have gotten far better and still manage to keep the core mainly in tact ala Kurt H. oh well will be missed but not forgotten.Its time to move forward to the new team and new year I myself have high expectations for this team, anything less that at least a challenge at and in confrence finals is not a good year would go one step further and say a shot at the champs the lake show but maybe one two years from now they run it all oh well wish they started today cannot wait to see them smash the Heat the big three with only Big Z lol oh well guess I will have to wait . Peace

    thirdsaint August 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Noah probably has the ugliest shot in the league now, maybe even surpassing Shawn Marion. I did notice he knocked more than a few open looks and I agree, that’s good for his game and the rest of the team. Just so long as he doesn’t fall in love with them I’m all for it.

    Sigh, I will miss Brad Miller’s classic head fake and drive move. He’d get at least one a game and people still bit on it, haha.

    silas August 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    the last comment was all true except for the fact that the eastern conference has become signifigantly stronger during this free agency. and if what seems like a good possibility actually happens and melo and chris paul actually switch conferences the ten years of western dominance will end and the nba will switch back to a jordan era eastern conference dominated nba

    P.S. leaving the road to multiple championships open for durant and the thunder after they eventley drag kobe off the court.

  6. Spike August 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Yeah, i noticed Noah was knocking down some jumpers compared to the prior season, and it’s cool.

    But because of his ugly, hidious, totally weird shooting form that makes me nervous for a second, and say

    “NO DUDE!! Don’t take that shot!!!”

    every time he takes a jumper.

    Then it goes in, and i’m like, “aight, cool.”

    But hey, as long as it goes in, it’s all good.
    Hopefully he improves even more.

    Go Bulls.

  7. Ryan August 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I think they planned to correct Noah’s shooting this offseason. To get rid of the ‘tornado ball.’ I don’t think it is a bad idea, but I don’t want him to expect to shoot more due to that. I also believe that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Most of his mid-range shots were taken because the play was broke or he didn’t have the pass. I think his passing skills are under-rated and with better teammates (IMO) he should have much more success with assists and open jumpers when necessary.

    Matt August 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Isn’t it going to be very hard for Noah to develop a Brad Miller-like shot fake with his form? With a normal shooting form, you can perform shot-fakes because your off-hand can bring the ball back down quickly. But when you have both hands behind the ball, like Noah, you can’t quickly yank the ball back down without repositioning your entire hand. By that time, the defense will have recovered.

  9. TexasBearsFan August 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    If you look at those Noah highlights you posted just the other day, you’ll see how often last year Joakim was able to drive past someone and get to the rim. If he’s got a baby jumper to fall back on, he’s much quicker than most other bigs. I could see him doing a lot more driving hard to the rim than he has, and his PPG benefiting from it.

    AK Dave August 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m most interested to see if Noah is going to bulk up even more this summer.

    If you compare his build now to his rookie season, you see just how much he has filled out. This has made him a lot better in rebounding and fighting for loose balls, as well as fighting for position down low. I think he could put on another 25lbs of muscle and turn himself into the second coming of Shawn Kemp (before the trade to Cleveland, and minus all the illegitimate children etc.).

    Jake in Minnie August 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    At the start of last season, when Jo would take that jumper, I would cringe. At the end of the season, when he positioned at either end of the FT line in the high post, I would say “Take it Jo, that’s your shot”. Glad someone else noticed this.

    docksquad August 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    the jumper’s definitely getting better. love that he can shoot ft’s too.

    to third saint, i too will definitely miss brad millers pump fake, and drive. i can’t believe people still fall for that slow motion play haha. anyways, nice post..

    Alex August 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Just want to say about your 60 win prediction. D. rose is a great scorer and everything, but at this point in his career he just doesn’t run an offense as well as D. Williams. That and the system that J. Sloan runs is so efficient on offense, that even with all the weapons the bulls have they will have trouble matching Utah’s efficiency. I’m putting the over/under on Bulls wins at 53.5 this year.

    Savage August 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I too found myself not liking him when we drafted him. But I got to say he is a true competitor with a lot of talent. The best part about it is he appears to want to develop into the best player he can be through hard work. It is also refreshing to see a player that seems to to be unchanged by his success and financial situation. He is who he is and I really respect that. Especially when we have so many pre madonnas in the league (I won’t name names but we know who they are). It is going to be fun to watch him this year and for years to come!

  15. Alex August 6, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Wow it’s “prima donnas” you dumb ass. Get an education.

  16. gavmiester August 6, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    “s also refreshing to see a player that seems to to be unchanged by his success and financial situation. He is who he is and I really respect that. Especially when we have so many pre madonnas in the league (I won’t name names but we know who they are). It is going to be fun to watch him this year and for years to come!”

    Im not suprised that fame and money havent changed him in the slightest. His parents are world famous, and at 7ft, he grew up in the spotlight being freaking obvious with his height. Add to this that he grew up loaded, so he has been used to money and lifestyle his entire life. Why would his persona change in this situation. The guy is great for the sport, as he doesnt talk in cliches, and has genuine passion and commitment. I hope he is a Bulls lifer.

  17. NoahsGymSock August 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Matt, would it be possible for you to do a post about Rudy Fernandez. I have heard so many things about him coming here or to another team. It would be good to have a concise argument for having him as a Bull and a concise argument against him. Thanks!

    C-Lo_The_Great August 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    i love noah as much as the next bulls fan but shawn kemp was a freak of nature im not saying noah cant be kemp 2.0 but highly doubtful kemp was so much more athletic and imtidating

    Brad S. August 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Matt – Love the kidney shot to TT. He may be gone, but not forgotten, eh?

    luvabullnj August 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    I must say when the Bulls drafted JoNo, I cringed and shouted OH NO! But now I love everything he bring on the court, including the “tornado ball”. And his free throw pct has gotten very respectable too.

    I am excited about the coming season for the first time in a long time though I’m not as giddy as KennyKashVIII. Expecting a 50+ win season but they’ll still be fighting for 4th, 5th or 6th spot with the Hawks and Bucks.

    These are going to be the longest two months before training camp.

    Mike B August 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    His nickname should be the worm regenerated


  1. 2010-11 Scouting Report: Joakim Noah » By The Horns - September 19, 2010

    […] or lefty, but usually righty) and even started shooting his awkward more frequently…and more successfully. In 2009-10, Joakim wasn’t going crazy from the outside, but he attempted 100 more outside shots […]

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