Joakim Noah turns it on late (Nov 21 12:00 ET )
Joakim Noah turned it on late against the Kings in a losing effort on Thursday, finishing with 10 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in 37 minutes.
The Scoop:After easily defeating the Clippers without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, Noah said the Bulls have some building to do. "We have a lot of work to do," Noah said. "As long as we stay humble and we keep working, keep getting better as a team, hopefully, we'll have a chance. But we're nowhere near where we have to be." While Noah's numbers haven't been exactly what his fantasy owners expected, his improved play over the Bulls' last five games should give hope that he can still return top-30 value.
Pau Gasol spent his flight to Toronto studying up on the Toronto Raptors and their tendencies. It paid off as Gasol scored a season-high 27 points for the Bulls in their 100-93 victory against the Raptors on Thursday night. Gasol’s study guide was game tape of Toronto’s recent blowout victory against the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, and teammate Joakim Noah was impressed with the dedication shown by the 13-year NBA vet. “I thought that showed some pretty good commitment right there,” Noah said. “He said, ‘Just trying to learn the tendencies.’ So…It just showed a great commitment on his part. I mean, I wouldn’t watch that s—t.” After the game, the praise for Gasol continued. “He was terrific,” head coach Tom Thibodeau. “You can’t say enough about him. Just the way he sets the tone for the team, plays both sides of the ball, plays unselfishly. He’s great. Every aspect of the game. He sets screens, passes it well, gets deep post position, second defender comes, hits the open man. Defensively, communicates well, protects the rim, rebounds in traffic. He’s been huge for us.” While Gasol was was ready to go for the 8 p.m. tip and scored 19 of his 27 points in the first half, the rest of his teammates waited until the second half to get things rolling. The Raptors held a 52-45 advantage at the break, thanks to a strong first half from reserve — and former Bull — James Johnson’s 14-point half. “I was able to score well and efficiently in the post, and get to positions that I was comfortable [in], and got in rhythm,” Gasol said. “Especially in the first half, in the third quarter as well. We have a very deep roster and, sometimes, against great teams like us, we have to pick your poison.” [RELATED: Noah wants fans to 'chill the f— out about Rose's injury ] The Bulls came out focused for the second half and outscored Toronto 35-14 in the quarter, to take an 80-66 advantage into the fourth. Toronto gave the Bulls a scare late, but were unable to complete a comeback. Derrick Rose played 30 minutes and scored 20 points on 5-for-14 field goals (including 9-for-10 from the free throw line), but left the game with 1:53 remaining after taking a fall and did not return. The team said Rose suffered a left hamstring injury. Rose said the injury felt like cramping in his hamstring and didn’t think it was serious. -- Holly Mackenzie, CSNChicago.com
Joakim Noah played 33 minutes against the Raptors on Thursday with six points, eight rebounds, six assists, one block and three steals.
The Scoop:He had a little bit of momentum coming in with back-to-back double-doubles, but the Raptors put the clamps on him in the first half with just two points and four boards. Noah's minutes were expected to be held in check and he still had a decent line, so it's all good. Continue to start him in all leagues.