Focused Joakim Noah expected back for Bulls

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Barring any setbacks, Joakim Noah is expected to come off the bench tonight when the Bulls host the Charlotte Hornets.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said after Friday’s shootaround that Noah was “live and active” during practice and would return to the floor after missing Monday’s win in Philadelphia with left knee soreness. Hoiberg said Noah was a little sore Thursday but felt good when he woke up Friday.

“We don’t expect him to have any limits out there tonight,” Hoiberg said.

Noah said he’s “feeling good” and wouldn’t have to change what he does even if the injury nags and lingers. He did say he felt like he needed some rest, was disappointed to sit out but felt better Friday.

“I’ve just got to stay focused, listen to my body,” Noah said. “Just working hard and just trying to get back to where I need to get to.”

Noah was expected to start Monday against the 76ers before being a late scratch, though that didn’t mean he was shocked to be out of the starting lineup Friday.

“I’m not surprised by anything,” Noah said. “I’m just focused right now and trying to help us win a game.”

High praise

The Bulls don’t play defending-champion Golden State for another week, but they’ve taken notice of what Stephen Curry is doing for the Warriors.

“He’s putting on an absolute show right now. It’s fun to watch but it’s scary to watch when you know you’ve got him coming up soon,” Hoiberg said. “What he’s doing right now, I mean, he’s throwing in shots from a step over half court when he’s trying to draw a foul. It’s been unbelievable.

“You can make the argument he’s the best shooter of all time, and certainly living up to that right now.”

The Warriors are 10-0, and the reigning MVP is off to a historic start. He’s averaging 33.3 points, shooting 53.2 percent from the field and making over five 3-pointers per night to only add to his reputation that has him getting comparisons to some all-time greats.

“Yeah and I’ve seen some great shooters. Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, incredible shooters but he’s just shooting from everywhere, anywhere, and he’s just shooting so quickly,” Gasol said. “Off the dribble, off-balance, half-court, you name it, he’s just going to shoot it and score at an incredible high percentage right now.”

Getting fishy

Pau Gasol said he wasn’t aware of Jimmy Butler’s boombox-styled aquarium/sound system. During a brief and humorous exchange with reporters when Butler’s acquisition was described, Gasol quipped “hopefully he’ll keep them alive.”

Noah said he hadn’t seen the fish tank but Butler was telling everybody about it.

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