Joakim Noah iced his ankle after the game, then did it again after showering and getting dressed. "Hell yeah I'll be out there," he insisted when asked about his status for Monday's game two against the Nets, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
A game-time decision for the Bulls on Friday, Noah started but showed the plantar fasciitis that caused him to miss 12 of the last 15 regular season games is still hindering him from being the player who was crucial to Chicago's 45-37 record this year.
Noah played 13 minutes -- six minutes to start the first quarter, and seven to start the third -- with four points, five rebounds and a block. There were a few Joakim flashes, like a dive-cut to the rim and dunk that briefly made people forget all about his injury, but mostly he was too slow and ineffective against Brooklyn center Brook Lopez.
"He hasn't practiced so he's going to be rusty, but I'd rather be out there," head coach Tom Thibodeau said, via the NBA.com live press conference stream. "Whatever he gives us is a plus."
One thing that is certain is that Noah doesn't lack heart. He gave his best effort against the Nets, but it wasn't enough to stop Brooklyn from hitting 16 of the first 20 shots the Nets took in the paint.
Chicago has bigger problems, though, because the only consistent scorer they had was Carlos Boozer. While Noah battles at 75 or 80 percent, Derrick Rose is expected to miss the entire playoffs because he hasn't quite recovered from an ACL surgery from almost a year ago.
Noah will continue to give everything he has, facing Brooklyn in the second game of the series at 8 p.m. ET Monday. However, his efforts will not be enough unless his Chicago teammates help him out.