Bulls Beat Raptors For Seventh Straight, But Joakim Noah Headed To Surgery

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BULLS ANALYSIS: Joakim Noah Will Have Hand Surgery; Bulls Win 110-93

The Bulls have won seven in a row for the first time in four years, and Carlos Boozer had 34 points — a season high — and 12 rebounds. The Bulls beat the Raptors 110-93 Wednesday night in Toronto. Luol Deng had 19 points and Kyle Korver 13.

So it’s all good, right? Not exactly. Joakim Noah, who has had ligament problems in his right thumb, will undergo surgery to repair these torn ligaments tomorrow and will miss 8-10 weeks. This is after Noah actually played 26 minutes against Toronto and had 11 points and 11 rebounds; Chicago Breaking Sports reported that doctors allowed him to play after determining he couldn’t make it any worse by playing.

Boozer, who seems in midseason form, and Taj Gibson will have to pick up the rebounding slack. Also worrisome is the condition of Derrick Rose, who has ankle and wrist problems and scored only six points (with 11 assists) in 29 minutes.

The Bulls’ shooting was excellent on Wednesday night as they shot 53.1% from the floor, and defensively held Toronto to 44.2% shooting.

The Bulls are fortunate, perhaps, that they are entering a relatively easy portion of their schedule. In addition to games against the Clippers, 76ers and Wizards coming up, they’ll play the Nets twice in the next few weeks, the Raptors again (this time at home) and the Cavaliers, also in Chicago. In the next three weeks they have only two games that might be considered tough, against the Knicks on Christmas Day and Jan. 8 against the Celtics, so perhaps they can weather the loss of Noah — who’s likely out till mid-February.

The Bulls face the Clippers at home on Saturday; hopefully, Derrick Rose can take the three days and rest up and be at full strength by then.


Chicago Bulls Vs. Toronto Raptors: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah Will Play

The Bulls have been banged up recently; on Monday Derrick Rose hurt both his ankle and wrist playing against the Pacers at home, and Joakim Noah has had hand problems for a while. Both took part in the shootaround in Toronto this morning and say they're ready to play; however, this Chicago Breaking Sports report ominously says that surgery hasn't been ruled out for Noah if his hand doesn't improve. He's been playing with it taped up for a while.

Fortunately, with Carlos Boozer back and in midseason form, Noah's minutes could be limited if necessary, or he could even miss a couple of games -- including tonight, the Bulls have four straight games against teams with losing records, including the woeful Clippers (5-20) and the pathetic Wizards (6-17), both at home. The next Bulls game against a good team is Christmas Day against the Knicks.

Tonight's game in Toronto begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.

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