Joakim Noah is one of the NBA's best big men, but he also continue to get measurably better.

Noah was ruled out of the Chicago Bulls' first round series against the Nets due to plantar fasciitis, but he decided before their Game 1 shootaround that he would be healthy enough to play.

“Yeah and I hope he continues to improve until the last year he plays in the league," said Tom Thibodeau. "I want him to have that approach. I want him to remain hungry. He’s also an All-Star now, and I think if he keeps working at it, I can see him being a defensive player of the year.

“But the most important thing about him is he plays to win, and you can’t undersell that. Jo can have five points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, have great impact in the game, and he’s happy because we won. That’s the most important thing for him.’’