For a man who once wore a bow tie with a seersucker suit, Joakim Noah rarely likes drawing attention to himself anymore.
This is why, in the wake of his game for the ages in the Bulls' 93-82 victory over the 76ers on Thursday night, he answered this way when asked if the performance ranked as his best.
"I don't know," Noah said.
The Bulls' emotional leader quickly then shifted the focus back to the need for victory for a struggling team.
But make no mistake: When you join Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shawn Bradley, Shaquille O'Neal and Elvin Hayes as the only players to post a triple-double of at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks since the NBA began recording blocks in 1973, it's a big deal.
"He doesn't ever take a play off, which is a tremendous quality," 76ers coach Doug Collins marveled after Noah's 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks. "Even if he is out on the (perimeter) guarding, he has the speed and quickness to get back. It's not like he compromises the defense. … This guy is a tremendous player."
And one who will be matched Saturday against fellow All-Star center Brook Lopez. Well, at least on the possessions where he isn't helping and recovering.
"Not only the blocked shots, he did a lot of switching, guarding everyone, big-time multiple efforts, sometimes three, four, five efforts on the same play," coach Tom Thibodeau said of Noah's big night. "He was spectacular."
Meanwhile, Luol Deng planned to visit the dentist Friday after taking a Spencer Hawes elbow that loosened several teeth in the waning seconds of Thursday's victory. Deng said initial tests showed no concussion and he sounded optimistic about his chances to play Saturday, even cracking jokes.
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Noah nonchalant about rare triple-double
Chicago Tribune | Mar 2