The crowds at United Center chant “M-V-P” for him. The praise nationally seems to grow daily.
And Saturday night, Joakim Noah showed the Kings why he’s becoming more popular with each solid game.
Noah had 23 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five blocked shots and three steals to help the Bulls fend off the Kings, 94-87.
“That’s just who he is,” said Kings guard Isaiah Thomas. “You put him on any team in any situation and he’s going to make a difference. It doesn’t even have to be scoring. Defensively or just getting other guys the ball and being that leader out there.”
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Noah and DeMarcus Cousins battled in the paint in one of the more entertaining matchups for Cousins this season.
Cousins finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and five steals.
“It was fun,” Cousins said. “Noah’s an incredible player. I say he’s the heart and soul of that Bulls team. He’s playing with a lot of confidence right. He’s the horse of that team, he’s leading that team. I have nothing but respect for him. He knows that and i feel he has teh same type of respect for me. everything he’s receiving he deserves.”
*Jimmer Fredette did not get into the game for the Bulls. I caught up with him Saturday morning following shootaround.
I wrote about Fredette for tomorrow’s newspaper, but here’s a little of what was leftover.
On his time in Sacramento:
“It’s a team I’ll always have a special place in my heart for. But sometimes things don’t always workout the way you want them to but as a player I feel like progressed every year even though I didn’t play as much as I wanted to I continued to play and get better and progress as a player.”
On if he reflects on why things didn’t work with the Kings:
“Not too much, I just control the things I can control and that’s all you can do. The coaches, sometimes they don’t have you as a big part of their plan and that’s OK, that’s just the way they want run their team, their organization and you just have to continue to work and not worry about it.”
*The Kings have struggled from three-point range mightily of late. They have shot below 30 percent in six of the last seven games from beyond the arc, including a 2-for-14 effort against the Bulls.
*The Kings are now 3-25 in games where they score under 100 points.
*Even with only 12 assists, Malone was pleased with how the Kings passed, especially how Cousins moved the ball out of double teams. The Kings just shot poorly (36.5 percent).
The first time that I got in against the Knicks, they had a huge ovations and I’ve had a great ovation ever since. The people here are great sports fans adn they love their teams and they love their bulls