Wednesday– With the tip-off to the NBA season just six days away, The Chicago Bulls have one concern heading into their showdown with the Miami Heat next Tuesday. The health of all-star center Joakim Noah.
Head Coach Tom Thibodeau announced that Noah(going) would not be available for Wednesday night’s preseason matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder and his status for next Tuesday is in doubt. Noah has been very limited in practice lately and has only played 20 minutes in the preseason so far so his conditioning will certainly be lacking at the start of the season. But Noah still wants to play.
“In my mind, I’m playing,” said Noah. “I want to be out there as soon as I can, so we’ll see when that is.”
Although the Bulls would love to spoil the Heat’s banner raising night, the main focus for the Bulls should be the season ahead, not just one game. Rushing Noah back would be more dangerous than helpful for the Bulls as a groin injury can always linger throughout the season.
“We evaluate every day,” Noah said. “I want to be out there as soon as I can. I just don’t want it to linger– I just have to be smart and I want to be out there as soon as possible and help the team.”
The Bulls will also be without back-uppoint guard Kirk Hinrich(concussion) for tonight’s game and just like Noah, his status remains unclear for the season opener. However, not all news is negative around the Bulls right now. Jimmy Butler is feeling better after sitting out for over a week with a knee injury and will play against the Thunder tonight.