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Bulls’ Joakim Noah makes NBA All-Defensive first team

Updated: May 15, 2013 10:40PM



Joakim Noah was named Monday to the NBA All-Defensive first team. He shares the center position with New York’s Tyson Chandler. Both received 24 votes.

Noah is the first Bull on the All-Defensive first team since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1997-98.

‘‘I’m obviously very pleased,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘Down the road, Joakim has a very good chance to be defensive player of year [because of] his ability to defend all five positions, individual defense, team defense, rebounding, multiple effort. He’s a very unique player.’’

Memphis swingman Tony Allen (53 votes) and NBA MVP LeBron James (52) headline the team. Oklahoma City big man Serge Ibaka and Clippers guard Chris Paul also were on the first team.

Carlos time?

After scoring just 14 points on 6-for-20 shooting in the first two games, Carlos Boozer stepped up with 21 points on 10-for-16 shooting in Game 3.

‘‘He was aggressive early,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He was able to get some good looks. He scored in different ways: Transition, pick and roll, post. That’s what he has to do.’’

Thibs was looking for more of that in Game 4, but Boozer struggled. He had 14 points but was 3-for-14 from the field with 12 rebounds.

Rough and tumble

Both coaches downplayed the extracurricular activity that has produced a lot of headlines.

‘‘We’re not going to get wrapped up in that stuff,’’ said Thibodeau, dismissing a question about the eight technicals and three ­ejections the Bulls received in Games 2 and 3.

‘‘Both teams are physical teams,’’ Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. ‘‘A lot of it is overblown from what is actually happening on the court. You just have two teams that want to establish their end defensively. Ultimately, [the series] will be decided between the four lines.’’

Thibodeau also dismissed the suggestions that the Bulls need to adjust their aggressiveness based on what the officials are calling.

‘‘It’s not about the officials,’’ Thibs said. ‘‘It never has been. What you can’t get sidetracked in are the things that are unimportant. If something didn’t go your way, you can’t allow that to impact the next play. You have to be mentally tough.’’

Next man up

Thibs readily embraced the ‘‘Next Man Up’’ placards that were distributed to the United Center crowd for Game 4.

‘‘We’re short-handed,’’ Thibodeau said ‘‘We understand that we have to do it collectively and do it with great intensity. That’s our only chance. We’ve done that throughout the course of the year. It’s playoff basketball. That’s the way it is.’’

The Bulls again were without Luol Deng (aftereffects of spinal tap) and Kirk Hinrich (bruised left calf).



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