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posted: 10/15/2013 10:25 PM

Noah eager to rejoin Bulls lineup, build chemistry

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  • Joakim Noah, who has been battling a groin strain, will see his first preseason action Wednesday night at the United Center.

      Joakim Noah, who has been battling a groin strain, will see his first preseason action Wednesday night at the United Center.
    Associated Press

 
 

Sadly, as it turns out, Joakim Noah didn't leave Rio de Janeiro with any wild adventurous stories.

His best memory of the trip was seeing how much fun the team's staff and family members had, he said Tuesday at the Berto Center.

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"For them it was a vacation. For us it was more of a business trip," Noah said. "We didn't have that much free time. Rio is beautiful, though. I definitely want to go back."

The real fun starts Wednesday, when he finally gets to join the preseason party after missing the first three games with a groin strain.

The Bulls host Detroit at the United Center, marking Noah's preseason debut and Derrick Rose's first game action in the building since tearing his ACL on April 28, 2012.

"I'm just really excited to be able to play," Noah said. "It's been awhile. I feel like we've been having a very solid training camp, and it feels good to be home."

Rose's return after more than a year off made this preseason more momentous than most. Noah has been the one piece missing from the starting lineup, although Rose also skipped last weekend's game in Brazil. Veteran Nazr Mohammed started in Noah's place.

This also may be the best chance to get a look at the Bulls' new offense, which Noah says is more of a read-and-react style.

"We'll see. I think we've got a lot of dogs on this team," Noah joked. "It's going to be a lot of aggressive guys who attack the basket. Our defense is just going to get better and better as it goes on. Our offense is going to get better and better as it goes on.

"Our chemistry is the most important thing. I feel like we have the players. We have the offense. Now it's on us to jell and make it work."

Asked if he might get more opportunities to create plays in this offense, Noah stuck with a pragmatic answer.

"Thibs calls out all the plays. So ask him," he said.

Noah didn't miss much practice time with the groin injury, so he should be able to get back into game shape before the Bulls' Oct. 29 opener in Miami. They have five preseason games left to play, including Wednesday.

"I want to see where his conditioning is," Thibodeau said. "When you get out there and you're taking more contact, it's going to take more out of you.

"Right now, for the entire team, your offensive execution is timing and spacing. You need to have the ability to sustain your spacing through a second and third option. You need everybody to be out there. I think it's important for Joakim to be out there with the starting unit so they can get comfortable playing with each other."

mmcgraw@dailyherald.com

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