After reports that Bulls forward Taj Gibson would miss tonight's game in Los Angeles against the Lakers due to a pinched nerve in his foot, and the fact that he didn't practice at all on Monday. Today, coach Tom Thibodeau announced that Gibson has been cleared to play tonight, calling the MRI that Gibson had yesterday "a precaution."
That's good news, because the Bulls could use the additional rebounding help that Gibson gives to Joakim Noah. Gibson scored 17 points and had 18 rebounds in the Bulls' big win over the Dallas Mavericks last Friday, and overall this season he has good numbers: 12.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Beyond that, the Bulls will be facing a 12-2 Lakers team off to the start that everyone thought the Miami Heat might have. The defending champions are 7-1 at home and have won four in a row, blowing out their opposition by an average of 17.3 points per game over that span. Their last win was by 28 over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, when Pau Gasol was a perfect 10-for-10 from the field and wound up with 28 points. Of course, the Bulls have their own blowout win over the Warriors this year, by 30 at home on Nov. 11. Tonight's late-night affair begins at 9:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.