Noah starting to make his presence felt

January, 30, 2012
1/30/12
10:37
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Derrick Rose, the leader of the Chicago Bulls offense, knows that Joakim Noah can become almost as important as he himself is on that end of the floor.

Don't believe it?

"With Joakim being in the middle, it's definitely going to make the game easy," Rose said after Noah almost went off for a triple-double on Monday night, scoring 14 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. "We call it easy offense. So why not pass it to him and he makes the decisions?"

[+] EnlargeJoakim Noah
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Bulls' Joakim Noah recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on Monday night.
It's a luxury that the Bulls took advantage of throughout Monday night. When Rose got trapped, he usually found Noah. After that, the Bulls usually found two more points.

"They had to trap D. Rose because he was doing whatever he wanted," Noah said. "He was attacking the bigs and scoring. Then when they started to blitz him and other things opened up for us. I just tried to put pressure on the defense and make the right decision. It's easy offense for us."

It's something that Rose and his teammates love about Noah. After struggling to find his groove in the first couple weeks of the season, Noah has responded with the best stretch of the year. He is more confident on the floor and it shows in his passing, among other things.

"That's him," Rose said. "He's one of the bigs in the league that can actually run the fast break, making great decisions.

"[It’s] very unique," Rose said. "Where he can make plays, man. Even though he's our center. He's a good passer and he can take a lot of pressure off all the guards … it just makes everybody's job easier."

Noah’s fantasies: Noah may be a great passer, but he isn't worried about being a point guard down the line. He had this hilarious exchange with the media after the game.

Reporter: Do you ever fantasize about playing point guard?

Noah: "Do I ever fantasize? Usually when I think of the word fantasize I think of … I think of women, when I think of fantasize. I don't think of basketball and fantasize in the same … that's not the same category to me. No, I don't fantasize about being a point guard."

The last word: Rose, his technical foul in the second quarter for complaining about some of the officials' calls.

"I felt like I had to get that one. I didn't mean to get it the way that I got it, but but I felt like I had to say something."

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
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5