BULLS IN BRIEF: Lee out with toothache in arm
BY MICHAEL O'BRIEN firstname.lastname@example.org
David Lee, the Golden State Warriors' 6-9 forward and leading rebounder, didn't play against the Bulls on Thursday night after injuring his left arm Wednesday.
He inadvertently hit former DePaul star Wilson Chandler in the mouth during a victory over the New York Knicks.
''I took a tooth to the arm last night. [Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni] had his guys biting me,'' Lee joked.
The collision sent Chandler's tooth flying toward the sideline, and the game was suspended while officials looked for it.
''They found a little part of it in my arm,'' Lee said. ''I woke up with unbelievable pain.''
Lee, a coveted free agent this summer, seriously considered signing with the Bulls.
''I came here for a visit,'' he said. ''They were one of the teams that were really after me. It came down to me vs. [Carlos] Boozer. I think he's going to be great for them when he gets back healthy.''
Lee was Joakim Noah's assigned ''buddy'' when Noah arrived as a freshman at Florida in 2004.
''I had to make sure Jo got to class on time, which was impossible,'' Lee said. ''He showed up on the first day, had shorts below his waist, no shirt on and a boombox playing music while walking.''Doubled down
The Bulls' recent hefty investment in Noah is looking better and better.
He's averaging 15.7 points and 15 rebounds and had double-doubles in the first six games, making him the first Bull to have six consecutive double-doubles to start a season since Artis Gilmore had 11 in a row in 1978.
The double-double streak ended Thursday. Noah had 17 points and seven rebounds.
''I think he has shown steady progress throughout his career,'' coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''I saw the improvement he made this summer; he's highly driven. I felt confident he would be better.''
Noah had 28 double-doubles last season and was one of nine players to average a double-double.Watching Wall
The Bulls host the Washington Wizards and rookie point guard John Wall on Saturday. Wall had his first triple-double Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets with 19 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. He also had six steals.
''What he is doing is amazing,'' Thibodeau said. ''The speed he plays with, that's an offense unto itself.''Turnover troubles
Heading into Thursday's game, the Bulls were averaging 16.3 turnovers, seventh-worst in the NBA and a major concern against quick, aggressive young guards.
''We've done a good job all year sharing the ball and playing with good pace,'' Thibodeau said. ''We have to cut down on the turnovers. There are a lot of really good young point guards in the league right now. If you're turning the ball over with their speed and quickness out in the open floor, it's hard to recover.''