Last year was a down one for Joakim Noah personally by virtually any statistical measurement.
Injuries limited him to appearing in just 67 games during the regular season, and his averages in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and minutes played all took significant dips.
The season before, Noah was an All-Star who received MVP votes. And if he has his way, he'll return to playing at that level again as soon as next season.
“I’m hungry right now,” Noah said, via ESPN's Jon Greenberg. “I don’t want to talk about it too much, but the way last year played out and how I felt like I really struggled, I just want to be as right as possible, just for the team.”
“It was a tough year, but you know what? I learned a lot from it,” Noah said. “Sometimes, you have to learn through adversity. It was tough to go out the way we went out with a great chance, with a great opportunity, and just not to be where I wanted to be on the court. It was very tough. I definitely feel like it’s helped me a lot in my workouts this summer.”
Despite Noah's limitations and the additional injuries suffered by some of his teammates, the Bulls were a strong challenger to the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. A fully healthy Chicago team with Noah returning to form could be capable of upending Cleveland, and emerging as Eastern Conference champs.