Noah: It was a good win for us
SALT LAKE CITY—By the look of his numbers—12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in nearly 34 minutes of action—Joakim Noah seemed like his old self Friday night.
But when observing him on the court in the Bulls’ win in Utah, it was clear that the All-Star was still hobbled by the plantar fasciitis in his right foot that caused him to miss three games prior to Thursday’s blowout defeat in Denver—in which he was a non-factor, notching only two points and five rebounds—though he attempted to compensate for his lack of timing and conditioning with a determined effort.
Noah bobbled passes, shot only 3-for-8 from the field and struggled to defend Jazz big man Al Jefferson, but afterwards, he was only concerned with the fact that the Bulls earned a hard-fought win.
“I’m feeling pretty good. We won, so I’m happy. I’ve got a couple of days to rest, trying to get my foot right and get all the treatments possible. I’m just happy that I can play through this,” he said, with his ailing foot soaking in an ice tub. There’s not that much that I can do right now. I just want to keep getting all the treatments and I want to be out there on the court for my teammates.”
When asked if he would miss further time to rest the injury, Noah responded, “I really don’t want to and I know I didn’t play a lot of minutes in the Denver game, but I didn’t get any worse from yesterday, so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow and hopefully I’m all right.”
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was more focused on the center’s timing than his foot.
“He’s not catching with his feet. It’ll come around. I thought today was a lot better than yesterday, so you’ve got to keep working. It’s difficult to play well when you miss a week of time. Even—we talk about this all time—when you miss a day off, you’ve got to get your timing back,” he said. “Even with a day off, you’ve got to get used to handling the ball again and get your rhythm back, so now you add in a week off and an injury, you’ve got to speed it up when you come back because there’s no time to relax and wait and ease into it. You’ve got to go.”