Joakim Noah: ‘We Have the Best Closer in the World’

Noah has great faith in teammate Derrick Rose’s remarkable ability to close out tough games, a belief that’s tough to argue with. From “Sure, the Pacers could decide they want to try to go back to Chicago next week and come storming out in Saturday’s Game 4. Though it seems like they tried just about everything they had left Thursday and still lost, yet again down the stretch as Derrick Rose scored on a twisting, left handed drive through a mass of Pacer with 17.8 seconds left in an 84-84 game. ‘The whole time I was just thinking, ‘Go to the hole,’ said Rose, who had 23 points and was just four for 18 shooting against Indiana’s relentless trapping defenses. ‘It was tough the whole night the way they were playing me. I missed shots I usually hit. At that time, I saw space and opportunity and I just went.’ Rose somehow got through and forced in still another game winner in which the Bulls never could shake the Pacers. The Bulls have yet to lead in this series by more than seven points at any time while the Pacers had led the majority of time in the series. But once again the Bulls had the closer and the Pacers had the door slammed in their face. It’s been a remarkably, unusual series with the Bulls tested through all three games by the Pacers, actually outscored in the first three quarters of the first three games combined by seven points. And then winning the fourth quarters by a combined 22 points with Rose averaging more than 10 points per game in the fourth quarter alone and 32.7 for the series. ‘We have the best closer in the world,’ said Joakim Noah, who had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. ‘Everybody knows it. They know it. We know it. Their coach knows it. They all say it. They have no problems saying it. We all know it. That gives you confidence for your team.'”