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Pingpong training for Noah?
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff

Joakim Noah

 

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

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Published: 10/3/2007 12:17 AM

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The Bulls are using some uncommon tools to try to fix Joakim Noah's unusual shooting stroke.

Following Tuesday's first practice of training camp, the rookie from Florida spent some time shooting jumpers while wearing a device resembling a pingpong paddle on his left hand. Bulls trainer Fred Tedeschi helped build the contraption.

The goal, according to assistant coach Ron Adams, is to prevent Noah from using his guide hand to push the ball.

"It's just to try to change my shot a little bit, change my form," Noah said.

Adams started working on Noah's shooting technique a few weeks ago. When the Bulls' first-round draft pick launches a shot toward the hoop, it tends to spin like a planet. Most coaches teach young players to release the ball with perfect backspin.

"Once you've done something most of your entire life, you don't shake it in a month or two," Adams said. "He'll get there, though. His motivation is going to get him over the hump. He's just a highly motivated guy. He wants to do well and wants his team to do well."

A few years back, Adams worked wonders with Tyson Chandler's shooting technique. The former Bulls center looked great one summer shooting the ball above his head with a flick of his wrist. A year later, though, Chandler went back to his old habit of shooting line drives with a hitch in the delivery and rarely shot the ball in his final season with the Bulls.

"The nice thing about it is (Noah) can play successfully in a basketball game now, probably without making that (12-foot jumper) consistently," Adams said. "But obviously it opens up many great avenues if he can hit that shot."

Thomas keeps working: Asked Tuesday whether Tyrus Thomas has improved his jump shot during the summer, coach Scott Skiles replied, "You mean the supposed 700-800 shots he was taking a day?

"It would be nice if he can make perimeter shots. But he's got to be able to sustain effort first through a quarter, a game or even a practice, for that matter. He's improving. But when you see a guy's athleticism like that, you always want more. So we're just trying to nudge him in the right direction."

Bull horns: Veteran forward Adrian Griffin skipped Tuesday's morning practice with a sore back. … The Bulls are mourning the death of Shelly Brewster, father of media relations manager Sebrina Brewster. … Individual game tickets for the 2007-08 season go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at the United Center box office, TicketMaster outlets, online at bulls.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.