Thursday, December 16, 2010

Noah's Looming Surgery Overshadow's Bulls 7th Straight Victory

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were able to pull off a 17 point victory over a shorthanded Toronto Raptors team Wednesday night, winning 110-93. Carlos Boozer absolutely manhandled the Raptors front line scoring 34 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. A hobbled Derrick Rose scored just 6 points but added 11 assists. The always solid Luol Deng scored 19 points including three 3-pointers. The Raptors were without their two best players, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon. New Raptors acquisition Jerryd Bayless lead the way for Toronto, scoring 20 points. This was the Bulls 7th straight victory which pulled them ahead of the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference standings.

This was a nice win against an already awful team that was REALLY shorthanded. Derrick Rose just had to distribute the ball inside to Booz and the points would keep coming. It's nice to have such an efficient post guy down low who can disassemble a team's front court with even trying. The Bulls scored 63 points in the paint.

The night was overshadowed around halftime when K.C. Johnson tweeted some really bad news that the Bulls were prepared to announce surgery on Joakim Noah's thumb after the game. While Noah played last night putting up 11 points and 11 rebounds in just 26 minutes, he will undergo surgery today and be out an estimated 8-10 weeks. Noah will be back the 2nd week of February at the earliest. So what does this mean for the Chicago Bulls? Possible disaster.

The Bulls have a somewhat easy schedule over the next month or so with the exception of a few games against Boston, Miami, Dallas & New York (even though I don't want to acknowledge that they're good). While no game is ever a given in the NBA, there's about 21 winnable games before the Bulls reach the 2nd week of February.

Chicago will most likely look to start Taj Gibson at center. I don't know how I really feel about this since I think Asik would probably do well starting. He's a great defender and can throw down Turkish white boy style on any given night. Noah's injury also means more minutes for Luol Deng and Kurt Thomas. Deng's already playing too many minutes but has emerged as the most consistant Bull this season so his ability to contribute on rebounding and defense is a must.

The Bulls only have 1 game in 5 nights this week when former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro makes his return to the United Center Saturday night with a 5-21 Blake Griffin lead, L.A. Clippers team.