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Noah fatigued more than injured, Heat issues, and Knicks prep

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I was bracing for some bad news on Wednesday after seeing Joakim Noah struggle through his 20 minutes of play on opening night. Noah had been 'cleared', of course. But we've seen that before, and the combination of Thibs, Fred and Noah himself not handling the groin strain diagnosis well wasn't out of the question.

But the Bulls had practice and there's no word of any further problems, so that's good. I doubt they did much given it was a day between games, but both Thibs and Noah spoke of issues in the context of rust and rhythm instead of the injury.

Noah did show good activity throughout his time on the floor, so that's good news. He had 11 rebounds in 20 minutes (even after adjusting for Heat inflation that's still good), and on multiple occasions found himself switched out on the perimeter against Chalmers or even LeBron and was his usual amazing self in containing penetration. On offense was where things didn't look as good, including some bad-looking jumps. And the guy definitely looked fatigued. But hopefully it was just that and not any other feeling in the ol' shorts.

Other random leftovers:

  • I'm sure everyone was looking for bad signs from the Heat in that game. And there were some. I thought their rotation bigs  of Haslem and Andersen looked pretty bad, especially in the first half. As I mentioned in my recap, it's almost as if the Heat are playing possum by holding back on unleashing their 3-point shooters. And more importantly, Dwyane Wade looked like the flailing half-player he became through much of last postseason. Wade's health (and thus performance) is the biggest variable for Miami this year, so good news for us that they held him out the following night with knee soreness. I suppose they're smart for being careful, but it's a bad sign that they felt the need to so early in the year. Oh, and without Wade they lost to the tankin' Sixers Wednesday night.
  • SBNation awesome-guy Mike Prada took some interesting screencaps (1, 2) of Mike Dunleavy's strange defensive decisions during the game. Just another mention of what Ricky went in-depth on concerning that facet of the Bulls game. Dunleavy also showed issues merely staying in front of Ray Allen which led to some rotation breakdowns. But as we've seen with some new bench players under Thibs, it takes time to master the scheme and 'stay on a string'. By all accounts Dunleavy is a capable and smart defender. If Marco Belinelli can improve over the course of a year, so can Dunleavy.

And one last horrible reminder of the opener is below. Remember, with the Knicks coming to town the Bulls should be seeing a lot less resistance.