Joakim Noah’s benching in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was a hot topic of conversation over the weekend.
Coach Tom Thibodeau sat Noah for the final 22:53 of regulation and overtime and stuck with the frontline of Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer; even substituting Nazr Mohammed into the game when Gibson picked up his sixth personal foul with 39 seconds remaining in the game.
After the loss, Noah left without speaking with reporters and Thibodeau would only go on to say that the move was simply a “coach’s decision.”
Noah bounced back in Monday night’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers with 13 rebounds, two steals and a season-high six blocked shots.
He also shed some light on what led to his benching against Memphis afterwards.
“Thibs would never, ever talk bad or say anything bad about us in the media,” Noah said. “But that was all me. He took me out and I was emotional about it. I was pissed off and I probably said some things that I shouldn’t have said. You learn from it and you move on. It’s just the mindset that I want to have; just move on from it. It’s so many games, I didn’t want to have it lingering.
“It was my fault. I shouldn’t have said the things that I said. We’ve moved on.”
Noah went on to say that he has the ultimate respect for Thibodeau and the head coach was pleased with how Noah responded, and could tell by the way he came into practice, prior to the game, that he was going to have a good performance.
“He was terrific and he’s done a good job for us,” Thibodeau said. “He just got to keep on improving.”