Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls has had quite a week. Last Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies, he was benched in the third quarter by Coach Tom Thibodeau after Noah protested about being sat down. Memphis would go on to beat Chicago in overtime. On Monday, though, Noah played his regular minutes. The Bulls would beat the Lakers, 95-83 and Noah helped immensely with 13 rebounds.
Noah would then prove to be golden against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. The game was on the line with the game tied at 82. The Bulls had possession. Nate Robinson found Marco Belinelli for a long corner two-pointer. The ball was short and clanged off the side of the rim. The ball bounced in front of Noah. Then Noah ran and saved the ball just at the nick of time. The ball bounced to a running Marco Belinelli. Belinelli immediately put up a lay-up as he was fouled. The lay-up went in with 7.5 seconds left to go. He would convert the foul shot after. Detroit wouldn’t convert in the ensuing possession and the Bulls escaped with a three-point win.
That save by Noah was incredible. He went crashing into the cheerleaders right after and pumped his fist as he saw Belinelli made the lay-in. That was probably one of the best hustle plays of the year and they were rewarded with not only the basket, but the win as well.
This time around, Noah didn’t sit down in the second half. And Noah rewarded Coach Thibs and the Bulls with a total of 18 rebounds. More importantly, the Bulls got the win.