ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell writes: “Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik missed shootaround Tuesday morning with a muscle strain in his left leg, and he is a game-time call for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. He suffered the injury in the third quarter of Game 3 on Sunday and did not return.”
Said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “Of course, Omer has played terrific for us … but if Omer can’t go, Kurt [Thomas] will be the next guy in.”
This could actually be a blessing in disguise.
Obviously, Kurt’s slower afoot than Omer, and Thomas specializes in post defense rather than protecting the rim as Asik does, which doesn’t help much since the Heat don’t have a post threat at center.
That said, Big Sexy — unlike Asik or Joakim Noah — is a threat in the pick and pop game, which could help free Derrick Rose from the swarming double teams he’s been facing all series long.
The key to Game 4 might be a few mid-range jumpers from the center position.