WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah combined for 31 points and 21 rebounds on Monday night, yet both men feel as if they are just scratching the surface as to what they can accomplish together on the floor.
That's the frightening part for the rest of the league.
The Chicago Bulls pair has hardly played together due to injuries over the first part of the season -- Boozer broke his hand during training camp, while Noah tore a ligament in his thumb and missed two months. While their numbers may look good now, they think they'll look even better in about a month.
"Every second we're out there together we're getting better and better," Boozer said after his team's impressive 105-77 win over the Washington Wizards. "I think we talk [through] the game throughout the course of the game. I think the great thing about our chemistry, me and Jo, is that we're both great competitors and we're able to talk to each in other in a way that helps us get better while we're on the job, while we're still playing. So if we make a mistake one time down, the next time down it's corrected already. Every game we're getting a little bit better and it's fun."
Noah, a man known to have plenty of fun on the floor, feels the same way.
"I think we're playing well," he said. "We're still getting a feel for each other. And I think he's somebody who demands a lot of attention. And it's good, it gives me a lot of easy opportunities and I'm hoping that when I get back to playing at a high level that I can help him out, too."
That high level doesn't seem to be far away for Noah, at least according to his coaches.
"He's back, almost to the point he was at before the injury," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "His activity is off the charts. His defense was terrific, his rebounding is very good. And you can see, he's starting to get a lot more comfortable offensively as well."
Boozer can see it as well. Just when you thought he was finished talking about the curly-haired seven-footer, he kept going.
"And he is a monster," Boozer said. "He's a monster. The way he's been playing since he's been back, he missed two and a half, three months, whatever it was, the way he's been playing, he's been a monster. It's impressive."
Has Boozer ever played with somebody quite like Noah?
"Not like him," Boozer said. "I might not ever play with another man like Joakim Noah. And you know his personality, too. He's a fun teammate to be around."
If the pair keeps playing well and improving together on the floor, the fun times have only just begun.