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As the final seconds ticked off the clock during Game 2 of the opening Adidas World Cup round of the Bulls’ Eastern Conference playoff series against the Nets, the face of the franchise held his fists tight by his side, let out a siren scream and raised his arms over his head. The Bulls had exacted their revenge after a humiliating performance in the first game, evening the series with a 90-82 win, and no player contributed more to that victory than All-Star center adidas cleats Joakim Noah.

It wasn’t easy. Noah has been playing through a bout of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, a painful condition that limited him to 49 minutes played in the season’s final 26 days. Just last week, the Bulls announced that Noah would not be available for the start of the Nets series, but there he was in Game 1, hobbling, not playing particularly well, but giving his best effort. In Game2, coach Tom Thibodeau had Noah adidas soccer cleats on a playing-time restriction of 20-25 minutes and played him right to the edge of that limit.

 


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