Joakim Noah asked to come off the bench

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MIAMI, FL - MAY 22: Joakim Noah #13 (L) and Brian Scalabrine #24 of the Chicago Bulls look on dejected from the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)


After new coach Fred Hoiberg announced Joakim Noah would come off the bench this season, many wondered how the veteran would respond.

But Hoiberg recently revealed to Grantland that the change was actually Noah’s idea.

“Jo actually came to me and talked to me about that,” Hoiberg said, via Grantland. “He said, basically, ‘I’ve always played well with Taj.’ He said he thought Niko and Pau played very well together, so let’s go that route. It was actually Jo that started the whole conversation. He came to me. That says a lot about him.”

Hoiberg said he was considering many different possible lineups, but hadn’t yet come to any conclusions when he was approached by Noah.

He added that the starting lineup used on opening night against Cleveland might not be the same one used all season.

“We’re not married to anything right now,” Hoiberg said to Grantland. “We’ll see how things go.”

It’s not clear whether Noah’s move to the bench has paid off. In 35 minutes of play through two games, Noah hasn’t scored a single point, though he does have 15 rebounds and three steals.

And Noah did manage to pass Scottie Pippen to move into third place on the team’s all-time blocks list with 775.

Noah’s regression hasn’t come as a surprise. The forward’s scoring dropped dramatically last year and bottomed out during the postseason when he averaged just 5.8 points per game.


All stats via ESPN.

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