Joakim Noah turned 29 today in what has been his most successful NBA season yet. He's averaging career-highs in just about every category while keeping the Bulls in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, despite losing Derrick Rose to injury and Luol Deng to Cleveland.
So with Noah now in his seventh NBA season, we take a look back at his seven most impressive single-game performances.
7. Apr. 25, 2010 at Cleveland
Though it came in a 23-point loss, Noah saved his first 20-20 performance for the playoffs. In the Game 4 loss to the Cavaliers, Noah scored 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, grabbed a then-career-best 20 rebounds and knocked down 7 of 8 free throws. The numbers were all the more impressive considering he did it against a frontcourt that included LeBron James, Antawn Jamison and Shaquille O'Neal.
6. Feb. 22, 2012 vs. Bucks
Triple-doubles are a rare feat, even more so for a center who had averaged just 2.2 assists per game entering a contest. But that's what Noah did in the Bulls' 110-91 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, finishing with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 30 minutes for his first career triple-double. Noah's highest assist total that season prior to the game? Five.
5. Dec. 7, 2012 at Detroit
In terms of sheer numbers, this was probably Noah's best game as a professional. He scored 30 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and handed out six assists while adding two steals and two blocks in the Bulls' 108-104 win over the Pistons. Noah scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and became just the 11th player to score 30, rebound 20 and record five assists in a game since 1985. He was the first to do it since 2010 (David Lee) and no one has reached those numbers since.
4. Dec. 18, 2012 vs. Celtics
Another triple-double for Noah, who scored 11, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 10 assists in the Bulls' 100-89 win over the Celtics. He also blocked three shots and limited Kevin Garnett to just 10 points and eight rebounds. The steal Noah recorded marked the 10th straight game in which he had done so; he'd go on to record a steal in 16 straight games over that span.
3. Feb. 28, 2013 vs. Sixers
Yet another triple-double, but this one was far more special. In the Bulls' 93-82 victory, Noah became the first Bull since Artis Gilmore in 1977 to record a triple-double that included blocks. In 45 minutes, Noah finished with 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks in what should go down as the best defensive performance of his career. The Sixers shot just 39 percent from the field and Noah also added three steals in the victory. Even more impressive? Noah went out two nights later and blocked four shots in the Bulls' win over the Brooklyn Nets.
2. May 4, 2013 at Brooklyn
Speaking of the Nets, Noah put together the most impressive performance of his playoff career in Brooklyn. Facing a do-or-die Game 7 in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Noah was magnificent. He scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked six shots. He went 12-for-17 from the field, had seven offensive rebounds and made his presence felt in 41 hard-earned minutes that helped the Bulls move on with a 99-93 victory.
1. Feb. 11, 2014 vs. Hawks
When your name gets put in the same sentence as Larry Bird, you know you had a pretty solid night. That was the case for Noah, who scored 19 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out 11 assists and blocked three shots in the Bulls' 100-85 win over Atlanta. With that performance, he became the second player (Bird being the other) to reach those marks in a single performance -- it's worth noting that Bird had 30 points, 17 rebounds, 15 assists and three blocks in his game, but we're not comparing Noah to Larry Legend. Noah was 8-for-15 from the field and had just one turnover in 41 minutes. Happy birthday, Jo.