A wiser Joakim Noah says he won’t rush foot injury this time
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org February 4, 2013 9:55PM
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Updated: March 6, 2013 6:26AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Joakim Noah isn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
When Noah developed plantar fasciitis in his left foot in 2009-10 under Vinny Del Negro, he thought he could play through the injury and ended up being a bigger problem than he ever imagined. Not only did he miss 18 games, but the limitation on his minutes when he returned eventually led to an altercation between Del Negro and John Paxson that fractured the relationship between the Bulls coach and GM.
Noah missed his third consecutive game with plantar fasciitis in his right foot Monday night, but said he hopes to play Thursday night in Denver. Noah said he did some shooting Sunday but still is not running or jumping.
‘‘I definitely feel you learn from your experiences,’’ Noah said. ‘‘In ’09-10 I just tried to act like it wasn’t there. I played through it and it was a mistake. I probably played with it for a month until I couldn’t anymore.
‘‘I stopped a lot earlier [this time.] I probably played on it for 5-6 games. I just knew what direction it was going. I feel like with a couple of more days of treatment, I’ll be OK.’’
Guard Nate Robinson has won three slam-dunk competitions in his career, but he received a higher honor when he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week
Robinson averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 assists with 2.5 steals in four games — three of them victories. He scored 24 in a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and had 20 points, eight assists and three steals in a victory against the Atlanta Hawks.
‘’It’s a byproduct of the team winning. It’s the entire team playing well,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Of course he was terrific. It helps our team get recognized. That’s what I’m pleased with — it’s the winning that helps them get recognized.’’
Forward Carlos Boozer, who missed three games with a sore hamstring, started against the Pacers and had 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting in 23 minutes.
Point guard Kirk Hinrich missed his third consecutive game with a recurring elbow injury.
Guard Daequan Cook received his most significant minutes since joining the Bulls in early January when he replaced Marco Belinelli, who suffered an ankle injury when he was fouled on a made three-pointer in the second quarter. Belinelli made the free throw for the four-point play, but immediately left the court for treatment, but returned to the game.
Cook, who had played in seven of 16 games with the Bulls, played 11 minutes in the first half and even stayed in the game after Belinelli returned. He scored on a drive and converted a three-point play to give the Bulls a 41-38 lead in the second quarter.
Noah was escorted from the Bulls’ bench to the locker room in the second quarter apparently because he was in violation of the NBA policy that mandates players wear dress shirts and jackets on the bench if they are not in uniform.
Noah returned at the beginning of the third quarter with compliant clothing.