Saturday, April 10, 2010
Confusion between Bulls brass, Del Negro
By Nick Friedell
Joakim Noah wants to play despite his plantar fasciitis.
TORONTO -- There have been times when the Chicago Bulls' management and coach Vinny Del Negro haven't appeared to be on the same page, and that was never more evident than Friday night in New Jersey.
And if Del Negro is let go after the season, as many expect, Friday night's confusion over how long to play Joakim Noah in a crucial game against the Nets will be discussed -- especially if the Bulls' 127-116 double-overtime loss to the Nets costs Chicago a playoff berth.
Noah has been battling plantar fasciitis much of the season and was on a 35-minute limit. Del Negro said he played Noah just 12 seconds in the OT periods because he was at his time limit.
"He's at a 35-minute limit," Del Negro said. "I think he was at 35:50 or somewhere in there. I had to get him out of the game, and that's what I needed to do."
But after the game, Bulls general manager Gar Forman let reporters know that assistant coach Lindsey Hunter asked Forman during the game whether Noah could continue.
Forman called Bulls executive vice president John Paxson, who gave Forman the OK to continue to use Noah.