Joakim Noah admits minutes restriction is ‘frustrating,’ but says he doesn’t want to be a distraction

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Joakim Noah is currently on a minutes restriction, which had him sitting the last half of the fourth quarter during a recent close loss to the Thunder.

While it can be frustrating at times, Noah is on board for now, mainly because he doesn’t want to be the focus of a controversy that could cause problems for the team during the final month of the regular season.

From Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

Being caught in the middle of a controversy between his coach and the front office doesn’t sit well with Joakim Noah, who had to sit the last half of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 32-minute restriction placed on him by management to coach Tom Thibodeau has added another layer to the growing speculation about the relationship between the two parties, leading to more endless speculation about the future. …

“I don’t want to be a distraction,” he said. “We’ll figure it out internally and do what’s best for the team.

“It’s frustrating but I think I’m not the only one who’s frustrated. It’s part of the grind but I’m trying to stay focused on what’s important. I’m not trying to get caught up in any noise.”

Noah added that he will talk to the decision-makers — presumably those on the team’s medical staff and in the front office — should they want the restriction to remain in place once the postseason begins.

It doesn’t make much sense for the Bulls to overextend Noah (or any of their players) for the remainder of the regular season, especially when considering how banged-up the team is with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler already sidelined with injuries.

The concern is getting everyone as healthy as possible for the playoffs, and something tells me that by then, the issue with Noah and his minutes restriction will have been all worked out.