Bad news of the baddest kind…Joakim Noah will be out for a while: “Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will miss three weeks because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot that has been bothering him since mid-January — a blow as his team starts a brutal stretch of games against some of the NBA’s better teams. … The injury has interrupted a breakout season for Noah, who is averaging 10.7 points and 11.4 rebounds. He has missed 10 games in all because of the condition and will likely miss at least 10 more, with no guarantee the time off will cure him.”
Huh. So that’s what it tastes like when you throw up in your own mouth. I don’t like it.
Said Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro: “It’s a very difficult injury. It’s very difficult to treat. He might rest for three weeks, he might rest for two months, come back and it’s still bothering him. Rest will help usually, no question, but he’s got to come back, fight through the pain. Give him a few weeks (and) hopefully, he reacts better to that.”
I’ve already discussed the brutal stretch the Bulls are facing: eight more consecutive games against potential playoff teams. Not a good time to lose your leading rebounder and best interior defender. Especially tonight, when the Bulls face a huge Memphis frontcourt of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay. Those guys are averaging 55.7 PPG and 27.0 RPG. They could end up with 70 and 35 with Noah out. At least.
To (somewhat) counter the loss of Noah, the Bulls waived Lindsey Hunter and signed Chris Richard for the remainder of the season. Said Del Negro: “We’re going to bring Chris Richard back and bring another big guy back, hopefully [Wednesday]. But we need our guys to get healthy. One guy’s not going to control the glass for us. I think it’s going to help. Chris did a good job when he was here. He knows what we’re doing. He’s a good kid. So we’ll get him back in here [Wednesday].”
Let’s hope Richards can rough some people up tonight.
To make these grim matters even worse, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are questionable for the Grizzlies game due to knee injuries. If they miss the game, prepare for an ugly loss, folks. I’m not trying to be a pessimist…but come on.