There have been none of the usual text messages in the past few days between Hawks center Al Horford and Bulls counterpart Joakim Noah.

Instead, the college teammates and close friends have exchanged bumps and pushes during a physical Eastern Conference semifinals series.

"We are out there boxing out and wrestling around," Horford said before Game 3 on Friday at Philips Arena. "It's all good. That's the way it is. It's fun. It's basketball."

Horford and Noah teamed to win consecutive NCAA championships at Florida before entering the 2007 NBA draft. Horford said it's still "weird" playing against Noah.

"It's different," Noah said. "Me and Al shared a lot of great times together in college. We could have been pretty high picks after the first championship, [but] we decided to come back for the love of the game and the love of playing with each other and having that taste of winning [another] championship.

"When you share moments like that and then you have to compete against each other, it's tough. But it is what it is. It's OK."