The Basketball Gods giveth…and they also taketh away. To wit: The good news of Derrick Rose dunking in warm-ups (click here for video) has been tempered by an injury to somebody else.
ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell writes: “An MRI on Taj Gibson’s left knee revealed a sprained MCL on Monday, according to a league source. The timetable on his return to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup is uncertain. The veteran forward injured his knee in the second half of Sunday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and spent some extra time in the training room having it checked out.”
As the Chicago Tribune’s KC Johnson points out, at least it wasn’t a torn ACL, but Gibson will be on the shelf for at least a couple weeks. Meaning the shorthanded Bulls are even more shorthanded. And this team was already thin in terms of frontcourt depth.
Tom Thibodeau’s response was predictable.
Said Thibs: “We’ve got enough. We have to do our jobs. We’ve shown when we do that, we’re capable of beating anyone.”
Conversely, the Bulls have also shown they’re capable of losing to anyone, as evidenced by a disappointing collection of losses to the likes of the Bobcats, Bucks, Hornets, Suns and Wizards.
And the Bulls don’t have an easy schedule coming up. Their next two games — at home against the Cavaliers (18-38) and 76ers (22-32) — aren’t terrifying. But after that they have a home game against the Brooklyn Nets (33-24) followed by a two-game road trip to Indiana (35-21) and San Antonio (45-13). They then come home for a game against the Jazz (31-26) followed by another three road games against the Lakers (28-30), Kings (19-38) and Warriors (33-23). Then there’s a three-game home stand against the Nuggets (36-22), Trail Blazers (26-30) and Pacers.
There aren’t many breaks in this stretch. And the injuries aren’t helping. But that’s just life in the NBA.