Noah, Deng picked as All-Star reserves

CHICAGO -- Two Chicago Bulls players will be heading to Houston for the Feb. 17 All-Star Game.

Joakim Noah and Luol Deng have been named reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. This is the second straight selection for Deng and the first selection for Noah.

Noah is having the best season of his career, averaging 12.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and four assists a game. Without Derrick Rose on the floor, Noah is serving as the vocal and emotional leader for a Bulls team that has a surprising 25-16 record heading into Friday's matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

"It would be really special to be selected as an All-Star," Noah admitted after Wednesday's win over the Detroit Pistons. "But you got to control what you can. I can't really control that. Only time will tell."

Time, and effort were on Noah's side. Same goes for Deng, who has been solid all season for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Deng is averaging 17.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and three assists.

Deng has missed the past three games because of a right hamstring injury, but he should be healed in plenty of time for next month's game.

“I’m extremely excited to be recognized as an All-Star for the first time,” Noah said in a Bulls press release. “It’s more of a team honor than an individual honor, because it would not have been possible without my teammates and coaches. I look forward to representing my teammates and the Bulls organization during All-Star Weekend.”