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Thibodeau heaps praise on Noah
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff

Joakim Noah


Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/30/2010 12:00 AM

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The last time Joakim Noah and Boston center Kevin Garnett had any sort of media connection, it was Noah calling out Garnett for being a dirty player during last year's playoffs.

Garnett was ejected from a game for elbowing Miami's Quentin Richardson and Noah was watching on television while the Bulls took on Cleveland in a first-round series.

On Wednesday at the Berto Center, coach Tom Thibodeau, a Celtics assistant the past three years, made a Noah-Garnett connection of his own.

"His motor, to me, is very similar to Kevin Garnett," Thibodeau said of Noah. "It's high, high energy. I've never seen him low on energy. It doesn't matter if it's the start of practice, the end of practice, he's just always in motion. I felt that on the opposing team, when we were competing against him, he's one of those guys, he didn't take any plays off. He'll make four or five efforts on the same play."

Told of his coach's comment, Noah stayed away from criticism.

"Kevin Garnett's a heck of a player, so that's very nice of him," he said.

Eye on Asik: Bulls center Joakim Noah gave this scouting report on center Omer Asik, a 2008 second-round draft pick who signed this summer. Asik played for FIBA World Championships runner-up Turkey earlier this month.

"He plays good defense," Noah said. "He's very good at pushing you out of the lane. Pushing me out of the lane isn't that hard, compared to the bodies he's going to have to face. He's definitely a good defender, he has good technique. I think he's somebody who can definitely help on the offensive end as well."

Initial camp plan: Asked whether he'd characterize his first training camp as a head coach difficult or grueling, Tom Thibodeau gave this answer:

"Part of the responsibility of being a head coach is how you pace your team," he said. "So you look at the whole month as your training camp and you have to get ready for your first game. All along the way, you're hitting on all the things you think you'll need to get ready for the start of the season."

During the first two days of practice, Thibodeau has brought in referees to help the players adjust to doing things the right way. The coach felt his team lost focus toward the end of Wednesday's workout.

Tickets on sale: Tickets for individual Bulls games will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, the United Center box office, at and by phone at 1-800-4NBA-TIX.