Per the Chicago Bulls official Twitter account, Noah will start tonight for the Chicago Bulls.
There were some doubts as to whether or not Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah would even be able to play his team’s opening round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. But after a lot of contemplation and numerous medical checks, it appears as thought the Bulls big man is going to make an attempt to play in Saturday’s game against Brooklyn.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 20, 2013
Had Noah not been able to play, the Bulls would have been in familiar territory. All season long the team has battled injuries and been forced to play without key players. Most notably, the Bulls have gone the entire season without point guard Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in Chicago’s opening round series against the Philadelphia Sixers last season.
But Had the Bulls not been able to play Noah in addition to losing Rose, the Bulls would be rolling with a rotation of players that wouldn’t otherwise seem fit for the postseason. However, the team made it to the Eastern Conference playoffs as the fifth seed by being largely led by guys like Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau said that he’s going to monitor Noah’s situation and isn’t sure whether or not the big man will start.
“There will be some restrictions on him,” Thibodeau said, via ESPN. “When he’s played the past couple games, he hasn’t had a problem playing, nor after the game, it’s more the next day where the soreness really comes into play. So that’s the big thing.”
Of course, Thibodeau not announcing whether or not Noah will start tonight isn’t something new to Bulls fans, who are used to Thibodeau regularly waiting until the last minute to solidify his final lineup.
The question now is, if Noah plays will it help the Bulls or set him further back in his recovery?