The Chicago Bulls are banged up at nearly every position, but they have still put the pressure on the Philadelphia 76ers to close out the opening round 2012 NBA Playoffs series on Thursday night to avoid a Game 7 back in Chicago. A huge factor in the game will be the status of several key contributors for Chicago. Star point guard Derrick Rose is done with a torn ACL, but Luol Deng continues to soldier on with torn ligaments in his left wrist.
Meanwhile, center Joakim Noah and power forward Taj Gibson have been dealing with ankle injuries. Noah declined to address reporters in morning shootaround (in which he did not fully participate) and was spotted limping around by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Head coach Tom Thibodeau lists Noah as a game-time decision, but the Bulls have been pretty loose with that term all year.
As for Taj Gibson, he did participate in shootaround and is expected to play as the Bulls try to fight off elimination for a second time. Gibson sprained his ankle in Game 5, but K.C. Johnson captured an unequivocal declaration that Gibson will play in Game 6:
Taj: "I'm playing." #Bulls— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 10, 2012
Game Date & Time: Thursday, May 9 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, PA
TV: Comcast SportsNet
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