Bulls not worried about leadership void

Joakim Noah said playing with energy and executing on the court is enough leadership. Mike DiNovo/US Presswire

DEERFIELD -- Without Derrick Rose in the lineup for the Chicago Bulls you might think there’s a leadership void, but the way the team is structured they aren’t concerned with the transition.

“Leadership is a bit overrated as a word,” Joakim Noah said after practice on Friday morning. “I feel like everybody can be a leader. If you bring it, and make hustle plays, that’s good enough leadership for me.”

Noah thinks the dynamic in the locker room is coming together as the team prepares for its fifth of seven preseason games Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. His coach agrees with that leadership philosophy.

“We want a team of leaders,” Tom Thibodeau said. “We’re not going to be led by any one particular guy. That’s what we’ve always strived for. That’s not going to change.”

The Bulls are 2-2 in the preseason and it’s not leadership they’re missing, it’s their star point guard.

“It’s always a work in progress, whether you’re a good team or a bad team it’s a work in progress,” Noah said of playing without Rose.

Even more so with so many new faces. It’s why the final three exhibition games take on extra meaning. Can the Bulls come together in time for a good beginning to the regular season?

“It’s a good start,” Noah said. “The group is hungry and we’re willing.”


* Thibodeau reiterated he’ll start his usual five including Kirk Hinrich who missed last game with a thumb injury.

* Thibodeau said the team could bring center Kyrylo Fesenko back. Fesenko was cut on Thursday.

“Every day they’re going to look at who’s available. Depending on what our needs are, he did a good job for us,” Thibodeau stated.

* Minnesota is battling injuries. Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio will miss Friday’s game.

“They’re a deep team,” Thibodeau said. “So they’re still dangerous but Rubio and Love are two terrific players that are hurt. It’s unfortunate.”