Chicago Bulls Preseason Game No. 6: Greetings, 2013-14 Joakim Noah


The Chicago Bulls dropped their third straight preseason game on Monday night in Charlotte, but the most interesting detail from the game wasn’t the result. The biggest takeaway from Monday’s action was the play of .

The 2014-15 season was nothing less than a disappointment for Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls after another premature exit from the postseason. Noah’s body failed him throughout the season and appeared to be nothing more than a shell of his former All-NBA self.

However, Monday night was a throwback outing for Noah in the 94-86 loss for the Bulls against the Charlotte Hornets; their third straight defeat of the preseason. Noah scored 12 points on just 2-of-8 shooting, but grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out a preseason-high seven assists.

“Yeah, I think I can do better,” Noah said. “I missed some free throws, missed some easy ones my teammates were giving me great looks. Could’ve had more.”

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Noah’s shooting was nothing less than bad on Monday, as he missed seven of his 15(!) free throw attempts on Monday, but the bounce and the energy was there for Noah, despite the rest of his team having an off-night at the office.

(In terms of Noah and his shooting through six preseason games, it’s been … well, not great.)

Although the shooting percentages aren’t pretty, Noah’s teammates were happy with the former defensive player of the year’s performance on Monday night. “We all know how great of a player Jo is, we want him to continue to be aggressive and look to score,” said Jimmy Butler. “He passes incredibly well while playing defense on the other end. We want to keep his confidence high.”

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Other notes from the loss:

  • The Bulls scored 33 points in the opening quarter. They scored 53 points the rest of the way. It was not a fun night offensively. The Bulls shot just 37.6 percent from field, along with an abysmal 22.2 percent from long range (6-for-27).
  • It’s understandable that new Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg wants to get his big names more minutes to prepare for the year, but playing both Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler 33+ minutes on Monday was a tad bit strange. (Butler played over 37 minutes. That shouldn’t happen.)
  • Even though Charlotte’s not exactly a powerhouse offensively, the Bulls did hold them to under 23 points in each of the final three quarters of the game (despite not being able to score themselves). Still, the defense will be a project longer than just eight preseason games.
  • Bobby Portis isn’t making this frontcourt congestion any easier for Hoiberg’s rotation this season. In 18+ minutes on Monday, Portis scored 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds.
  • Question: Why is Jimmy Butler playing over 37 minutes in a preseason game again? Hello? Tom? You still here? (Related: The Bulls have a quick turnaround and hit the hardwood again on Tuesday against Indiana back home in Chicago.)

Next: Should Derrick Rose play in the season opener vs. Cleveland?

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