Bernstein: Why Doesn’t Noah Always Do That?

By Dan Bernstein–

CHICAGO (WSCR) Not trying to take the easy warm-fuzzies out of a fun night for the Bulls, but I have to ask the question: why should Joakim Noah need the inspiration of his family sitting courtside to come out of the gate playing like that?

He was the early whirlwind that powered the Bulls to a double-digit, first quarter lead that they would not relinquish in slamming the door on the annoying Pacers, finally lowering the curtain on Frank Vogel’s Flying White Circus. He finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, with ten, three, and three of that in the first 12 minutes.

Without fail, credit was given to Noah’s relatives for inspiring the effort, and not just by lazy writers and broadcasters.

“The energy was just there from the beginning,” Noah said. “My grandfather, my sister, my mom. The building is already crazy. There was a lot of energy going on. I just fed off that.”

Perhaps we need to redistribute the five-year, $60 million contract extension he received in October. I was under the impression that he gets that money to inspire himself every night, no matter who is in attendance.

I know. Fun story, prefabricated angle for the sidebar, great visuals. I should just go with it.

(I do agree that graying dreadlocks like grandpa Zacharie’s just look cool. They make me hear steel drums, for some reason.

And sister Yelena is a whole other story. I have a hard time holding in my head the fact that there exists, somehow, a gorgeous woman who looks almost exactly like Joakim Noah. That’s like saying there’s a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model that looks just like Don Cooper.

Human genetics never cease to amaze, and I guess that the chromosomes of Yannick Noah and a former Miss Sweden were bound to produce something more aesthetically pleasing if given another shot at recombination.)

It wouldn’t bother me so much if Noah were not paid handsomely to do just what he did last night. He is the ultimate “energy player,” making up for a lack of bulk and scoring ability by rebounding, running the floor, disrupting with his length and athleticism and moving the ball.

His performance in the dramatic playoff loss to the Celtics two years ago was believed to solidify his value in the minds of John Paxson and Gar Forman. He had gone from immature and inconsistent to professional and reliable, and was rewarded handsomely. At the time, no mention was made of him needing family members imported to stimulate his play.

Let’s not over-celebrate a nice playoff night. The Bulls are a 62-win team – a top seed with title hopes, no longer a gritty upstart trying to make a name for themselves against the big boys. This is the time of the year for everyone on the team to do what each is paid to do (and yes, I’m looking at you too, Carlos).

Another term for Noah’s “inspired” first quarter of action, in a first round playoff game, at home, against inferior competition?

His damn job.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Why Doesnt Noah Always Do That?

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Um, Canucks choke-job Bernsie???

    • Mark

      To be fair, they tried their damnedest to give it away at the end

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        true…they almost effed it up again…but I hope that Dan-o doesn’t whitewash that he was wrong on today’s show (to the extent that there is any hawk-key tawk).

      • big time sucker

        Luongo better go out and buy each one of his defensemen a new car for saving his arse last night. it’s hard to score when you can’t get off clear shots. Yeah Luongo made a few spectacular saves but he was shakey, but the cannucks DOMINATED the puck and the hawks just couldn’t get any consistent offense going. the stats belong to Luongo, the win belongs to the guys infront of him
        crawford meanwhile should be PI SSED at his defense for allowing so many dangerous scoring chances and he was fantastic that game last night was unfortunate but the cannucks outskated, out played out shot and out defended the hawks, they earned it last night

      • Mark

        Totally agree bts. Neither of the Canucks’ goals were on Crawford. Terrible defense on the first one, and I still can’t figure out why Campoli was in such a rush to try and clear the puck on the eventual game-winner…

  • big time sucker

    nice, but noah played like that before the thumb injury. he started the season playing just like that dan, or is your memory that bad. Then he had the thumb, then as he was rounding into shape, the ankle. If you actually read and listen, game 4 wasn’t much different than game 5, yeah the whole grandfather thing probably fueled the histrionics, the check pounding, the arm waving, but what was so different about his preformance in game 5 from 4? i think he is simply rounding into game shape and is healthy and will be more consistent from here on in, if they play orlando, he better be!!!

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Nice comment bts, Noah played magnificently out of the gate (in many ways he overcompensated for the loss of Boozer then).

      • big time sucker

        boozer just looks like he is lost

    • big time sucker

      chest pounding

      • big time sucker

        maybe boozer was hyptnotised by tyler hansboro’s crazy eyes. reminds of judge doom from who framed roger rabbit, you know at the end when he reveals that he was a cartoon character all along. maybe playing against an actual basketball player will allow him to snap out of it

    • Ed

      ^ This. I could not agree more. I feel like this team has been fighting bumps, sprains, strains, ankles, thumbs, fingers, and everything else all season. Now that we get 5 days off in a row it should hopefully allow everybody some time to get healthy , get their heads on straight, and get prepared for the next series.

      I have high hopes and expectations for how the Bulls should play against Orlando / Atlanta

    • VeveJones007

      Eh, I think you’re giving Noah too much of a pass with the injury excuses. His game is about max-effort and I can’t give him a pass for the 2nd half of the season when #1can come out and play like that 3 days after an ankle injury.

      • big time sucker

        different severity of sprain, #1 had little to no swelling, noah had swelling the size of a golf ball, it doesn’t at first seem like apples and oranges, but it is

  • The Vicious Hang Wiff Em

    Don Cooper in a bikini? Did we really need that visual?

  • Jason J

    It was fun while it lasted, but hockey doesn’t matter anymore. Bernsie was just having a good time while he could, but no reason to waste anymore time talking hockey.

  • Denver Deadite

    Laugh. Like anybody seriously believed that Bernsie would follow up on the Hawks/Canucks series if it went against the Hawks.

    I’ve been saying it since Game 4 though: the Canucks do not have the mental makeup to win the Stanley Cup. Games 5, 6, and most of their pre- and post-game comments throughout have only reinforced this opinion.

    The Hawks pushed them to the brink, and they have the gall to stay stuff like the Hawks didn’t deserve to be there? No, if there’s any team that doesn’t deserve to have advanced, it’s most certainly the Canucks.

    • Marc

      So we’ll be expecting a followup from you if the nucks win the cup. I’m guessing not. People get predictions wrong, and Bernsie is a huge NBA fan, why wouldn’t he focus on the Bulls the day after they clinch the first round.

      • Denver Deadite

        Oh, and for the record, I’m not a prediction guy. I rarely make them, and I’m certainly not paid to do so.

        But the Canucks still aren’t winning the Cup.

      • Denver Deadite

        Sorry, I’ve already got two middle fingers, I don’t need to waste money on any more.

      • Denver Deadite

        Well, I’m glad that you’re a mind-reader. Perhaps you can also pass along your wisdom about the winning Powerball numbers?

        I’m guessing not.

      • Marc

        Maybe i will and you can buy some class with the money.


      That last goal is hard to shake off, but it’s what happens when a team is tired.

      The ‘hawks deserved a round 2, but Vancouver had to play an, almost, perfect game.

      If Nashville has any depth, they’ll win the next one in 5. I, really, don’t know who is coming out of the West, though.
      This last two months was crazy, but I’m going to miss these guys. At least, they’ll have better cap space next season, and St. Louis will help them take away the Kings (why were THEY there?), and this has to be the last rodeo of the Redwings.

  • Mr. Pouty Pants

    Noah having a gorgeous look alike sister is like saying there are Victoria’s Secret models that looks like Dan and Terry, or Mac and Speigs…

    • Chubby Chaser

      I ordered the Spiegel catalogue online. Boy was I disappointed.

  • Jerry

    Umm, did it cross your mind that he’s just now getting healthy? And that he played even better last game?

    Noah’s never had an issue with intensity, so I’m not sure why you would go there. If he’s healthy, he plays his ass off.

    • Harry's Phlegm

      Agree totally with you, Jerry and the others above. Noah has improved each game, plus it is human nature to get a little more amped up with the family in tow. I guess Dan felt like holding that aginst him today.


      • Murphfan1138

        Bernstein loves being a wet blanket when it comes to fan enthusiasm, plus he hates players who aren’t “superstars”, which is 98% of all athletes in pro sports

  • Matt Kirchoff

    Just give Boozers money to the Noah family requiring them to sit on the bench for the rest of the playoffs…to translate what Pippen was saying: Carlos stop being lazy and at least stop embarrassing the Bulls organization…I am crazy for thinking of trading Boozed for a draft pick?

    • Marc

      Those stupid reach in fouls Boozer takes drive me nuts. Hey Carlos, you’re freakin’ slow, stop trying to steal the ball.

      • big time sucker

        that’s a comment i can agree with, thibs allows brewer and bogans to play the ball and rose because they are guards, he allows noah and gibson to play the ball because they have long arms and can jump, boozer is a big strong wide body and can be physical and man up, has good footwork and can slide and cover and during the reg season those were the things boozer was doing on defense, now he thinks he has to play the ball? no no no NO, play the body, use strenth and positioning and your feet and you will be sufficient, let the athletes play the ball.

    • big time sucker

      2011 nba draft= dung heap if there were draftable players i would agree with you, but i wouldn’t even attempt it, and nobody would bite on his salary anyways

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        I don’t care if there are draftable players or not. If it could actually happen (it can’t), but I’d take any draft pick for Boozer at this point and take my chances on the FA market with the cap room opening up.

        It’s not that I don’t like Boozer, it’s that I don’t feel the Boo’ are getting full value. This was something we were supposed to feel four years into the contract, not in under one. It’s like Soriano all over again. I have no problem about a contract that overpays a player, as long as for *some* of the contract they perform as expected.

      • Harry's Phlegm

        Hey I think it’ll come out after the playoffs that Boozer is not close to 100%. He’s done much better in the playoffs in the past but I think the Bulls and him aren’t letting on.

  • crash corrigan

    DB re: Hawks/Canucks finale. Often wrong, but never in doubt!

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      nicely put, crash, very nicely put

  • Beard Man

    @Matt: No, not crazy. But I’m not sure if the pick you’d get back would be worth it. Now if they could get a pick and a shooting guard who shows up every night…or ship him to ORL for Dwight Howard if we really want to dream lol.

    • big time sucker

      byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee cracky!!!

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    In all honesty, what could Bernstein have written for a blog today regarding the Blackhawks? The fact that Crawford played out of his gourd to even keep them in the game? That the entire second period felt like a penalty kill, as did OT? Ironically, the only time they didn’t seem shorthanded was when they actually WERE.

    The game felt exactly like the USA/Canada OLY Hockey final. I was rooting for an inferior team, and with their backs to the wall with time short, they force OT… only to lose in heartbreaking fashion after their goalie plays as well as possible.


      I saw the same thing, Chris.


    The man wears his heart on his sleeve every night, he almost fouled out of the game last night, he was to juiced up, but he got the job done, he covered Boozer’s butt bigtime, Boozer stunk up the westside, thank you Joakim for the effort, playing in front of your father’s father is a big deal!

  • William Jenkins

    I wonder why Bernie isn’t ragging the Hawks. At least Noah and the Bulls WON! Re: Don Cooper in a bikini: Let’s just say it’s a good thing I wasn’t eating at the time. Bad things could have happened to my keyboard.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      I’ll lay it out…

      Bernstein blogs on Bulls “QUIT IGNORING THE HAWKS!”
      Bernstein blogs on Hawks “QUIT TALKING ABOUT HOCKEY!”
      Bernstein blogs about negative item “QUIT BEING SO NEGATIVE!”
      Bernstein blogs on Cubs “QUIT HATING ON THE SOX!”
      Bernstein blogs on Sox “QUIT HATING ON THE SOX!”
      Bernstein blogs on college basketball “QUIT HATING WHITE BUTLER! PLAYERS!”
      Bernstein blogs on Notre Dame “QUIT HATING CATHOLICS!”

      Earlier this week he was villified on the blog responses for being negative about the Bulls (Rose’s potential injury concerns). Now he’s villified for NOT talking about the Hawks’ loss last night. It’s probably a good thing he probably doesn’t read these responses… and definitely doesn’t care.

  • big time sucker

    If I am ron gunther, and I am not, I would fire bruce webber and hire Indiana Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogle, TODAY. He was a goof, but he had his team ready to play and got them to overachieve, not to mention, is a young guy who could probably recruit successfully, and would come at a good price tag. Do it before the pacers lock him up. My opinion

  • 2nd Half Adjustments

    I wonder why he doesn’t always play at a high energy level when he’s recovering from an ankle and hand injury too. Oh, wait….what? Come on Bernsie. You know better. Say, “The Bulls need Noah to play like that all the time.”

  • mad as hell fan...

    Noah playing with high energy is the least of my worries. He had 21,and 14 in game four. He is playing like he was before all the injuries, it is the playoffs now that is maybe what he was waiting for. If he was a veteran who was banged up all year and then turned on the switch when he needed to Bernsie would probably be praising the strategy.

  • Defense In Indy???

    As was suggested in the radio telecast, Bill Wennington could have suited up and shot a couple of 3’s against these clowns.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      My fondest desire would be to hear a “radio telecast.”

  • Everything $ucks!

    Hawks $uck. Sox $uck. Cubs $uck.
    Bulls are gonna choke against Atlanta.
    Boozer really $ucks.
    Everything $ucks, $ucks, $ucks.

    • big time sucker

      and you know that bulls will play atlanta because………………………………………
      that is really a bad match up for atlanta, i think the bulls wold take them in 5, orlando is slightly tougher, bulls in 6 also i think beating the yankees two straight will boost the sox confidence a bit, they might go on a little run here and get back to playing white sox baseball(whatever that is) cubs do $uck and the hawks well believe it or not, getting to game seven was an overachievment, but an entertaining overachivement. i think jay zawalski hit it on the head, get the right defenseman and some depth at forward and they will be the end of 07, 08 and 09 hawks again!!!

  • big time sucker

    bill wnnington and i have the same birthday!!! just found that out yesterday, not great, BUT NOT BAD EITHER!!! but bills range was between 12 and 20 feet, and was accurate from top to bottom but anything beyond that and i don’t think the ball would reach the rim accurately

  • Defense In Indy

    I knew as soon as I pressed enter I was going to hear it about that.
    It was a brain fart, you loser.

    I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee this morning.

  • Suck-O-La

    I agree with Everything $ucks.

    I think Mike North could beat Boozer in a game of Horse right now.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Not necessarily- you don’t play defense in “Horse”, so North’s sizeable advantage there is negated.

  • Jerry Wright

    “flying white circus”?
    you’re such a hypocrite Dan.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Yeah… “Flying” and “White” are mutually exclusive. Nice catch!

  • meesohawnee

    I think dan is too scared to go near the hawks today since he had them winning 7-0 yesterday. dan. thats why we play the games ya know.. Next year dear chicago media. Dont declare a winner until the game is played. Im sure hes sitting in the bernstein bunker now. goin” geez sure glad i got hockey out of the way. Now its FIVE bulls blogs a week you lemmings hehe hoo hooo ha!”.. LOL Nucks deserved it now lets see what they do against the” little engine that could. “


    I think Joakim Noah was inspired by the sight of his grandfather attending his first ever NBA game last night in Game 5, and I think the Bulls on the whole wasted little time putting the pesky Pacers in their place in a dominating 116-89 beatdown that gave the 22,000 or so in attendance free Big Macs. Derrick Rose didn’t seem to have any ill effects from that ankle sprained he injured in Game 4, and was very, very productive scoring 25 in only 29 minutes of work. I was hoping to see the Bulls’ team that resembled the one that won 62 games and earned the NBA’s top record in the regular season. I got exactly what I wanted and now the Bulls can rest, relax and heal the bumps & bruises waiting for the Magic & Hawks to finish their series. Even though Atlanta got their clocks cleaned in Game 5 down in Orlando, despite only 8 points & 8 rebounds from a foul-plagued Dwight Howard, the Hawks still have a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 at Philips Arena tomorrow night. If I’m head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls, I’m hopeful that the Hawks provide the opposition Monday night when the Eastern Semifinals tip at Club 1901.

  • Kman3115

    Game 4: 21 pts, 14 rebounds, Zacharie Noah notably absent. Go **** yourself Bernstein!

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Ohay then. So, does that mean Noah’s a liar? Obviously it doesn’t make a lick of difference whether gramps is there or not.

      Noah is crediting his family for an ‘inspired’ effort. So… was game 4 not an inspired effort? Don’t you think he should be inspired every night? He’s not some rec-league dude trying to impress some chick he dragged along to the Y for his Tuesday night game. He should be bringing it every night.

      Is he? I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. I hope he is… but saying that it takes old man dreadlocks to get him motivated raises my eyebrow.

      So is Zacharie Noah about to become a Chicago-centric meme, where fans will hold up posters and pictures of him in order to invoke the fire and the passion? This may get funny.

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