Noah doesn't look fully healed

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
12:00
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- How is Joakim Noah's ankle?

It's the question every Bulls fan will be asking after reading the box score on Thursday night. Noah played just 23 minutes, scored just two points, grabbed just six rebounds and looked ineffective on the floor during stretches.

"It feels good," he said after the game. "Once you step on the court right now, you're kind of numb to pain. Just being able to play in games like this is what it's all about and I think we're playing great basketball, we just got to keep it up."

Noah repeated that he was "100 percent," but that's just simply not the case. His right ankle is still giving him a lot of problems, it's still very swollen, and he appeared to be icing it during the game on the bench. The Bulls need Noah to be healthy throughout the playoffs, so don't be surprised to see Noah playing less minutes in the final week of the regular season than most of his teammates.

Rivers praises Rose: Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers joined a long list of head coaches who have gone out of their way to praise Derrick Rose. It's just that he did so by praising the entire team as well.

"It's no coincidence that the Bulls have the best record in the East," Rivers said. "They've earned it with their heart and hard play every night. Every single one of those guys is focused and plays hard ... right now they're playing harder than anyone else and that has a lot to do with their winning. That comes from both Thibs and Derrick Rose being here."

Reinsdorf speaks to Hill: Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf spoke to Phoenix Suns guard Grant Hill on Thursday night regarding an incident on Tuesday night in which a fan allegedly spit and cursed at Hill as he was walking off the floor.

The pair had a "great conversation," according to the Bulls PR Staff. Reinsdorf also spoke with Hill's mother, Janet, who is a personal friend of the Bulls' owner.

The last word: "He's playing at a high level, man. Everybody knows it. If this game doesn't put the stamp on the MVP, I don't know what else you can say. The guy is special and he does it with the right mindset. Humble. You say the same thing every day and it's the same praise, but he comes in with the same mentality every day. A hard working dude, tough as hell. And it's great to have somebody like that on your team," -- Noah, on Rose's play.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 3.4 1.5 40.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0