Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah enjoys career night vs. Pistons

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With a vast improvement on the offensive side of the floor, Noah is quickly establishing himself as one of the best all-around centers in the NBA. That versatility is helping Chicago (10-8) stay above .500 in the absence of Derrick Rose.

Former Bulls and Pistons big man Ben Wallace told Bulls Joakim Noah a very simple, if not blunt, message.

"(Wallace) said I should have more rebounds and more points," Noah told CSN Chicago after he notched career highs with 30 points and 23 rebounds in the Bulls' 108-104 win over Detroit Friday.

"He said I should have had 35. He's a hater. He's a hater, but that's why I love him. I'm a hater, too."

And Chicago hates the Pistons. Friday's win gave the Bulls their 16th consecutive victory at The Palace at Auburn Hills, a streak dating back to 2008, Noah's second year in the league.

Just 18 games into the season, Noah is playing a career-high 39.6 minutes a game and is above previous career highs in assists per game (4.3) blocks per game (2.2) and free throw percentage (.787). It's no wonder his career-best game came Friday.

The Bulls are leaning on Noah more on the offensive side of the floor in the absence of Derrick Rose, and Friday's win put them at 10-8 overall. They have won four of their last five games after starting the season 6-7.

Chicago will host New York at 7 p.m. CT Saturday at the United Center.

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