- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Like most NBA players, Joakim Noah respects players who play hard, the way he likes to play. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Chicago Bulls center has respect for the way Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough plays the game.
When asked before Thursday morning's shootaround if Hansbrough is a dirty player, Noah said: "Like dirty as in he doesn't take showers?"
It's obvious Noah doesn't believe Hansbrough is a cheap shot artist.
"I don't think so," he said. "I just think it's the way the game's played right now. It's just the way it goes. Nothing easy to the basket. And when you have a little point guard going in there every time the way Derrick's going in, you don't want to be on a highlight reel, so you've got to give a hard foul. It's just the way of the game. Sometimes, yeah, it's frustrating because you never want Derrick getting hit like that, but it is the name of the game right now."
Noah appreciates that Hansbrough's motor is always running.
"Hansbrough, he's a helluva a competitor," Noah said. "He didn't shoot the ball as well as he did in the first game, we changed a little of what we were doing on him defensively. But overall, you know he'll be ready to play [Thursday night]."
The last word: "The only difference is the media. It's almost like the same thing. The way that we think about everything. We don't change anything. We prepare the same way. If anything, it's more detailed because you've got to know all their plays. That's about it." -- Rose on what the biggest difference is between being a No. 1 seed and being an eighth seed, as the Bulls were last season.
Joakim Noah says the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough is not a dirty player.