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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wants Joakim Noah to shoot more

Updated: December 19, 2012 1:34PM

LOS ANGELES — During his career, coaches rarely have asked center Joakim Noah to shoot more, but that’s what Tom Thibodeau wants, especially from mid-range.

“He’s an excellent 15- to 17-foot shooter,’’ Thibodeau said. “It’s reflective in his free-throw shooting. He works on it all the time, and we see him make it all the time.

‘‘I want him to know what his looks are in order, and when the ball comes back to him, it’s shoot first, then high-low, then swing the ball. When he does that, makes the quick decision, he’s very, very good and very hard to be defended because he can also put it on the floor.’’

Noah admittedly still has to digest that idea. Basically, he has to become a bit more selfish.

“I think usually when I catch the ball, I’m thinking pass first, and I have to keep my eye on the rim,’’ Noah said of his hesitation to shoot in the past. “I just try to make a quick play first, and if they take that away, that’s when I look for the shot.’’


Entering Friday, former Bulls backup center Omer Asik was averaging 10.5 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Asik received a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets in the offseason, and the Bulls let him walk rather than match it.

Thibodeau has taken note of Asik’s play but didn’t want to offer up much detail.

“I just follow the league,’’ Thibodeau said. “I’m more concerned with our team and the next opponent, but he has done well.

“He handled himself great here and did a great job for us.’’

Asik, from Turkey, came off the bench to average 2.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 2010-11 and 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.

The Bulls play the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday.

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