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posted: 2/12/2013 7:26 PM

Noah getting by despite lingering foot injury

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Playing 38 minutes on a sore right foot didn't appear to have a negative effect on Joakim Noah. He didn't speak to reporters Tuesday at the Berto Center, but could be seen shooting around when practice ended.

After losing to short-handed San Antonio Monday, the Bulls traveled to Boston for their final game before the All-Star break.

Noah missed three games last week because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He had 15 rebounds, 7 points and 5 assists against the Spurs, his third game back.

"I think he's figured out (how to manage the foot pain)," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought his timing was much better in last night's game. He's got to handle the ball. He's got to continue to work on the things he's working on. Hopefully, with the chance to get a little bit of rest over the break, he'll be fine."

After Monday's loss, Noah said he needs to get the foot problem figured out so he can participate in practice. Tuesday's workout didn't include much physical activity.

"As a team, we just watched film, walked through a couple things and we did some shooting and individual work," Thibodeau said. "So he did the individual part and the film."

Kirk Hinrich, who has missed five games with a right elbow issue, did not make the trip to Boston, but may be ready after the break.

"We're going to keep him here so he can focus in on the rehab," Thibodeau said. "He's coming along, actually, pretty well, For his rehabilitation, we just think it would be better for him to have a day here."

Bulls' defensive failures:

The Bulls seem to be in a defensive slump. Over the last four games, they've allowed 107.8 points per contest, while opponents have shot 52.7 percent from the field. Consequently, they've gone 1-3 during that span.

Overall this season, they've allowed 93.6 points and 43.4-percent shooting.

"We have to get going defensively," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Right now, I'd not just limit that to defense. I would also include the offense, because the offense is a big part of that.

"When you're turning the ball over the way we are and they're live-ball turnovers, you're gifting a team 29 points, you're beating yourself basically. You give a good offensive team confidence like that, you're asking for trouble. We have to clean that up.

"The intensity part is critical. You have to play with great intensity."

Celtics without Rondo:

After losing to San Antonio without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili Monday, the Bulls will face another short-handed squad in Boston Wednesday.

The Celtics have gone 7-1 since losing all-star point guard Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL. There were reports Celtics backup guard Leandro Barbosa suffered a torn ACL in Monday's loss to Charlotte.

"That's where (Paul) Pierce is so unique, because of his ballhandling ability," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Boston's success. "He's capable of running the point for them. They have a lot of interchangeable parts. Courtney Lee's a good ballhandler, Avery Bradley. They can run their offense through (Kevin) Garnett as well.

"That's the uniqueness of Pierce and Garnett, it gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can run your offense."

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