Podcast: Van Gundy: No rest for Bulls

Jeff Van Gundy believes Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer need to play to get better. David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images

Count Jeff Van Gundy among those who wouldn't rest the Bulls' starters the last two games to have them fresh for the playoffs.

Van Gundy joined "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on Tuesday and agreed with Tom Thibodeau's stance about keeping the rotation intact.

Van Gundy even doubted the severity of Joakim Noah's ankle injury, although ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell said the swelling appears to have returned.

To hear the entire podcast, click here.

Here are some highlights from Van Gundy:

"I'd be playing to win. I'd be playing to catch San Antonio. I'd give myself every opportunity I could if I'm trying to win a championship.

"I think one of the most overrated things is game-day rest. I think somehow in the media it's become this obsession. What other job are you paid to rest. This idea that these guys at 22 and 23 need all this rest is so out of whack. They have something significant to play for, play. If tomorrow has no bearing on anything, maybe cut their minutes. But particularly Noah and [Carlos] Boozer, they need to play better. They need more repetition. They need to get up to speed on the intensity, speed and timing of the game and deliver.

"[Noah's] not hobbled. He hasn't played enough. You cannot play at a high level in this league playing intermittently. It's too hard. The competition is too stiff. He doesn't need time off. He needs more time. You make a valid point if a guy is truly injured. If a guy is hurting a little bit, that's the nature of the job. ... You have to be tougher than your opponent. I think right now the Bulls have the best habits in the league, they and San Antonio have the best habits in the league. They don't want to give up on their habits. He needs to work his way back into playing at a high level.

"This is what I like about the Bulls' decision. They're not just playing for the Eastern Conference top spot. They're trying to catch San Antonio, so if they meet San Antonio in the Finals, in the 2-3-2 format, it's critical to have home court."

But Van Gundy stuck to his guns about the Miami Heat being the favorites to make the NBA Finals.