The Chicago Bulls are set to play the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, starting saturday. Though it’s expected to be a long-fierce series, the Bulls may have to fight the Nets without their star big man, Joakim Noah.
According to CBS Chicago, Noah, who is fighting through a case of plantar fasciitis, may be extremely limited on Saturday’s game one playoff opener.
Noah knows the team will need everyone healthy on their team. Though the Bulls defeated the Nets three times this season, with the Nets winning one of the four games, the playoffs is a whole different beast. They already have Taj Gibson, Richard Hamilton, and Marco Belinelli battling through injuries themselves, and they’re obviously missing a key component playing without game changer, Derrick Rose.
Noah expressed dire disappointment regarding his injury, saying,
“It’s really disappointing for me,” Noah said Friday. “You work really hard in the summer and the season to be ready for situations like this, and just to be hurt is really disappointing. It is what it is. We fought hard to get here, and we’re a very capable team. It’s going to be an exciting series against Brooklyn.”
Bulls’ head coach, Tom Thibodeau spoke to K.C Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on whether or not Noah will miss the entire series.
Noah didn’t par-take in the morning shootarounds Friday morning. He also said he was taking anti-inflammatory medication, in hopes for coming back sooner than later.
Noah knows the team needs him. He provides that energy on the court, and is essential on the boards and on defence. Ultimately, Noah isn’t blaming anybody for his injury but himself.
“I just wish I was a little bit smarter,” Noah said. “I played games in the regular season that I probably shouldn’t have played, and it’s going to be tough but these are the cards I was dealt.’’
I’m sure I can speak for most Bulls fans when I say that we absolutely need Noah back as soon as possible. However we have to consider his long-term health. The Bulls would need Noah throughout the playoffs if they are serious about a playoff run but they’ll need him healthy. His health comes first but until then, all we have to do is remain being patient, and hope for the best for the team.