After hobbling through 13 minutes in a Game 1 loss to the Nets and taking one off day, Bulls center Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) is apparently ready for a bigger role.
Noah will start Game 2 tonight and play 20 to 25 minutes, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
Larger contributions from Noah might be the Bulls’ best chance of winning this series. It also might their best chance of destroying an All-Star player.
At some point, Tom Thibodeau must look out for Noah’s long-term health, though I understand why it’s tempting to ride Noah.
Game 1 turned in the 12 minutes both Noah and Gibson were on the bench together, as the Nets were +13 in that span. If Noah can play 25 minutes, that means Gibson would have to play just 23 minutes to avoid a lineup lacking either – though Gibson hasn’t played that much since March, and that would allow no time for them to share the court.
The Bulls are dealing with razor-thin margins, and at a certain point they should give up and shut down Noah. For at least one more game, it appears they’re going to give Brooklyn their best shot.