The Bulls, still not over the loss of Derrick Rose, are faced with the prospect of playing Game 4 without Joakim Noah. Chicago's starting center suffered a sprained left ankle as he was fouled attempting a layup in the third quarter of his team's Game 3 loss on Friday.
"Most likely he'll be out tomorrow," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Saturday following a team film session at the Four Seasons Hotel. "It's a sprain. I haven't gotten the grade yet but it's doubtful. We'll see him tomorrow."
Noah, seen Saturday on a pair of crutches and with his ankle heavily wrapped, has been the Bulls' best player in the playoffs, averaging 15.0 points and 9.3 rebounds through three games. Listed as day-to-day by the Bulls, Noah will be replaced in the lineup by Omer Asik.
The shutdown man
Despite the offensive struggles of Andre Iguodala and Chicago's Luol Deng Friday, (4 for 16 field goals combined in Game 3), Iguodala was much more of a factor for his team because of his defense. And he was doing it with a burning Achilles in his right ankle that forced him to go back to the locker room for a short period in the fourth quarter.
"In a series like this without Derrick Rose [torn ACL] and you think of their three principle scorers, you're talking [Carlos] Boozer, you're talking about Rip Hamilton, and Luol Deng," said coach Doug Collins. "For him to do what he's done defensively with Luol with five points. . . . All the sudden you put an awful lot of pressure on Rip and Boozer to score a lot of points. When you look at our record against Chicago, Atlanta, Indiana, they have that three man that's so critical to their team, and Dre has done such a great job on them and it gives us a chance to win."