Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has conceded that he finds his minutes limit frustrating and hopes that it will be lifted before the playoffs start.
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Noah remains on a 32 minutes limit per game but although it has been in place all season, it has come to the attention more recently after he sat down the stretch of the Oklahoma City Thunder game.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau revealed after that the reason for Noah being benched was because he ran out of minutes for him, and it appeared as though all concerned were frustrated by the situation.
The Bulls center didn’t speak to the media after the game on Sunday, but he addressed the situation on Wednesday and revealed that he hopes things will change in a month’s time when the post-season gets underway.
“It’s frustrating,” Noah said, ESPN reports.
“But I think I’m not the only one who’s frustrated sometimes. I think it’s part of the grind. But I’m just trying to stay focused on what’s important: trying to win basketball games. I’m not trying to get caught up in any noise or anything like that. I don’t want to be a distraction. We’ll figure it out internally and do what’s best for the team.”
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year had left knee surgery last summer, and the Bulls front office has since put in the minutes restriction to avoid any further setbacks.
The issue did flare up last month and it forced Noah to sit, but after struggling through the opening months of the season due to a lack of rhythm and fitness, Thibodeau will undoubtedly be keen to play his leader as much as possible, particularly when needed in important games.
Noah added that he feels better and more healthy now and understands that the restriction is also in place to protect him. However, the Bulls will be hoping that they have an entirely healthy roster for the playoffs otherwise further disappointment could lie ahead.