Joakim Noah Guarantees He’ll Play in Season Opener vs Miami Heat

by October 28, 2013

Despite some concern regarding Joakim Noah and his nagging groin pain, the Chicago Bulls big man says there’s no way he’ll miss tomorrow night’s showdown with the Heat in South Beach. Per the Chicago Tribune: “Both Noah and (Tom) Thibodeau said the All-Star center has been pain-free for ‘four or five days’ and Noah placed his chances of playing Tuesday at ‘100 percent’ after practicing fully Sunday. Add in that Kirk Hinrich also took full contact on his injured shoulder and sounded confident he’d play against the Heat and suddenly the Bulls might have all hands on deck to resume this grudge match. ‘Every time you play against Miami, it’s always a statement,’ Noah said. ‘We’re a hungry group. It’s one of 82, but we know that every time you play against Miami it’s important.’ Noah’s game, both offensively and defensively, is built on game conditioning. But he downplayed falling behind in that department by only playing against the Pistons during the preseason. ‘I’ll be fine,’ he said. ”m not worried about it. I’ve been working on my conditioning the whole time. Even with the groin, it was more of a lateral problem, a jumping problem, more than just running straightforward. So I was doing a lot of running the whole time. I feel 100 percent. I have no problems in my groin. I wanted to play in that last preseason game, but Thibs said no. I was pissed about it, but I think it was the right decision.'”