Chicago Sun-Times

Veteran Thomas to keep starting nod

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NEW YORK -- Taj Gibson was back at practice on Friday, but Kurt Thomas will remain in the starting lineup at center when the Bulls face the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.

The question posed to coach Tom Thibodeau was whether Thomas will continue to start for the foreseeable future.

"As of right now, but that's subject to change depending on who we're playing," Thibodeau said. "I like the size and strength of Kurt and I think it's a good combination with Carlos [Boozer]."

Gibson missed Tuesday's game against Philadelphia after suffering a concussion last weekend. He was cleared to play the following night in Washington, but Thibodeau played him only 31 seconds because he hadn't practiced.

After virtually not playing at all, Thomas, 38, has stepped in and played well since center Joakim Noah went down with a thumb injury. Some are surprised that one of the NBA's senior citizens has been so productive, but not Thibodeau.

"To be honest, that's kind of what I expected," he said. "He's been a terrific post defender, team defender, his entire career. He came in as a rookie doing it and he's done it for 18 years now. He's very professional, he stays ready and whenever he's called upon he performs well."

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on December 24, 2010 11:23 AM.

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