Noah focused on playing good basketball and winning.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has insisted that the team is not thinking about losing on purpose in order to gain a better post-season match-up, as that’s “soft”.
After losing Derrick Rose to injury in November coupled with the decision to trade Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers, many predicted that the Bulls would ‘tank’ this season and claim a strong draft pick to continue their rebuilding efforts into next season.
However, unsurprisingly given the nature of coach Tom Thibodeau and players like Noah, the Bulls have pushed on in their absence and hold a 43-32 record which currently gives them the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Although there are still seven regular season games remaining, if things were to finish as they stand right now, Chicago would face the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs before yet another match-up against the Miami Heat.
Nevertheless, Noah isn’t thinking about avoiding any particular team in the post-season, and believes that the Bulls must continue to do what they’re doing well right now and see where it takes them.
“We’re just trying to play good basketball,” Noah said, as reported by ESPN.
“There’s no way in hell we’re going to try and lose games to match up against anybody. I think whatever happens, happens, so we’re just going to keep playing our game, keep winning as much as we can, and then (we) can’t wait for the playoffs.”
“I think losing games to try to play somebody, I think that’s soft,” he added. “That’s soft. We’re not soft.”
It remains to be seen how the regular season ends, but if the Bulls and Raptors are to finish on an identical record, then the latter would take the third seed by way of securing the tiebreaker in that they would win the Atlantic Division.