Noah won't miss C's; ASG status uncertain

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
11:13
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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BOSTON -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said he is "definitely" playing against the Boston Celtics Wednesday, but his status for Sunday night's All-Star Game is uncertain because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

[+] EnlargeJoakim Noah
AP Photo/Rick BowmerJoakim Noah has averaged almost 32 minutes a game since missing three games with plantar fasciitis.
"I'm feeling awesome," he said before Wednesday morning's shootaround. "I feel great. I wouldn't miss (the Celtics) for anything."

As for his status for his first All-Star Game, Noah is non-committal, saying he is just trying to focus on the Celtics game. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the decision to play Noah for Sunday's game in Houston would be decided by a group including Noah, the Bulls' medical staff and Thibodeau.

"Barring any unforeseen setbacks (he'll play)," Thibodeau said. "But he'll make a good decision. He's managing it fine right now and we'll see where he is before he gets to the game, but I think he'll be fine."

Thibodeau and Noah want to make a final decision on whether he plays in the All-Star Game after seeing how Noah performs on Wednesday.

"Jo will do what's right," Thibodeau said. "Obviously if he can play he should play. But we'll just take it day by day."

After missing three games, Noah has played the past three, averaging 7.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in 31.7 minutes a game.

Bulls forward Luol Deng hopes Noah will play in the game and is excited to get the chance to be with him on such a large stage.

"I'm looking forward to it," Deng said. "I'm not going to lie. I think I was excited last year, I'm excited this year. I think as you go on you represent the team and the city more than yourself, and I think Jo will realize that. It's a great honor to have and something you're going to look back later on and be excited about as an individual accomplishment but as of right now it's more of the jersey that you have one when you're playing."

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 3.2 1.6 39.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 10.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.3