Bulls' Noah earns second career triple-double in win over C's

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Bulls' Noah earns second career triple-double in win over C's

CHICAGO There was a triple-double on the floor of Boston's game against Chicago, and the one doing it was not named Rajon Rondo.

In fact, he wasn't even a guard.

It was Chicago center Joakim Noah who tallied his second career triple-double in leading the Bulls to a 100-89 win over Boston.

Noah, just the second center in Bulls history with more than one triple-double in a Chicago uniform, had 11 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has always thought highly of Noah's overall game which is on display even more now with Derrick Rose still out.

"Noah is terrific," Rivers said. "He's such a great passer. At times without Rose, we really consider him their point guard. He makes their decisions, he bails them out ... he's just an extremely high IQ basketball player. And it's getting higher and higher."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau loves the versatility that Noah brings to the floor.

"His skill set is so unique," said Thibodeau, a former Celtics assistant coach. "It gives you the opportunity to play thru the elbows more and make it more of a cutting game."

And when the Bulls did that, the Celtics were indeed sliced up time and time and time again by Noah either finding teammates for lay-ups, open shots or getting his own offense going.

"I'm always looking to pass," said Noah who became the first Bulls center since Tom Boerwinkle to have at least two triple-doubles for Chicago. "I feel pretty comfortable up top and Carlos (Boozer) is a good finisher on the inside and I'm looking for him."

NFL scout on Garoppolo: 'Bill thinks he's got the next great one'

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NFL scout on Garoppolo: 'Bill thinks he's got the next great one'

Covering the NFL for almost 20 years allows you to make relationships with a bunch of people. So I thought I'd tap into some of those people as we gear up for New England Patriots training camp for a series of pieces about topics we've been kicking around.

COMPARING THE 2007 AND 2017 PATRIOTS

The panel consists of one former Pats player still in the game, two scouts of AFC teams, one front-office member in the AFC, and one NFC scout. They all requested anonymity for obvious reasons (as the player said, "hey, I might want to end up back there!") I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I had talking to these guys.

Today's topic: Why is Jimmy Garoppolo still here?

Scout 1 (AFC) -- "He's Bill Belichick. He doesn't give a [damn] about what you, or me or anyone else thinks. I know teams called about Garoppolo. I don't believe they were ever given a realistic price. Why? To me, the answer is simple: Bill thinks he's got the next great one. I watched his snaps. I think he can be that. [Garoppolo] has a great base, and his mechanics are close enough to [Brady] that you appreciate his willingness to learn and the coaching he's gotten there."

Scout 2 (AFC) -- "I absolutely loved the kid coming out of college. When we interviewed him, [it was obvious] he's got those qualities you want in a QB, as a leader. I begged our guys to take him at the end of the first round. That's how good I thought he was then. He's a hell of a lot better now. The job Bill and [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels] have done with him, the work he clearly has put in, wrap all that up and it makes all the sense in the world to keep him. They can win with him. That's all you need to know -- in my opinion -- as to why they kept him. The moment that Brady guy starts to show cracks, the next guy is in already there, already knows the locker room, the system, the environment. I think it's genius."

Former Pats player -- "I played against him every day in practice. He's all that." Why? "He can make all the throws. He can process all the information. He is a gamer. He can slow it down. He can spin it. I'm going tell you this, if he had gotten traded to Cleveland, they're a borderline playoff team. I really believe that."

Scout 3 (NFC) -- "I know teams called and got nowhere. Easy conclusion is they see Garoppolo as the next QB. But I think it could be as simple as the value there. He's the player one snap away. Weigh that against the third guy (Jacoby Brissett) or some vet and maybe it was just too wide a gap to risk it. Keep him. See how the year plays out and then decide, do we want to franchise him? Ink him to some kind of bridge deal? Or let him go off into free agency?"

Front Office (AFC) -- "Bill knows something we don't. That's the way I read it. Whether it's Brady's future, or what they didn't see in Brissett, or something about the makeup of Garoppolo, he just couldn't part company with him. I can't say as I blame him. Finding one good QB in this league is hard enough. Two? Maybe only a handful of teams in the league can say they have that. Plus, with Bill, he's not worried about coaching for his job. He can think big picture -- two, three, four years down the line. That's not something too many other coaches/front offices in this environment get. He can afford to pass on a handful of draft picks to keep a player he really likes."