If Tom Thibodeau is cracking jokes, something must be right.

"(Joakim Noah) probably could've had 30 (points) if he had made his dunks," Thibodeau said late Wednesday.

As it was, Noah settled for 21 points and 12 rebounds in the overtime victory over the Suns. And, yes, most all is right in Noah's offensive world. The sixth-year center is averaging a career-best 16 points with 9.8 rebounds.

"He has shown he's more than a hustle guy," Thibodeau said. "What he's doing now that's great is he's screening, which is helping him a lot offensively. The more he's screening, the more he's open. He's making his moves a lot quicker.

"He's an excellent 15- to 17-foot shooter. It's reflected in his free-throw shooting. ... When he makes the quick decision, he's very hard to be defended because he can also put it on the floor and make plays."

Noah doesn't like talking about personal statistics. His guns-blazing routine after his clinching 18-foot jumper in overtime said it all.

Quick change: Jimmy Butler played only 8 minutes, 36 seconds but made a big impact in the second quarter with six points and two steals in 92 seconds. Asked if he can continue to provide energy in such a limited role, Butler offered a creative answer.

"I'm just trying to be Taj (Gibson) Jr., basically," he said.