PHILADELPHIA --- Although coach Tom Thibodeau said X-rays were negative, Joakim Noah's availability for Sunday's Game 4 against the Sixers is extremely doubtful.
"Most likely he'll be out tomorrow," Thibodeau said.
Noah rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 3 only to return briefly in the fourth quarter before being taken out of the game. He was walking on crutches with his ankle tightly wrapped before and after a film session at the team hotel on Saturday. Backup Omer Asik is expected to start. Forward Taj Gibson will back up Noah's back up.
"Omer is better offensively than he's given credit for because of his rebounding, his offensive rebounding, his screening, and he's also a very underrated passer," Thibodeau said. "He's not accustomed to playing the starters' minutes. That will be a little bit of an adjustment. We have the ability to play Luol [Deng] at the four also.''
C.J. Watson has been battling ankle and shoulder injuries all season and was especially ineffective in Game 3.
"We'll see," Thibodeau said when asked if third-string point guard Mike James may be needed Sunday, "but I'm confident C.J. will play good.''
Ronnie Brewer has played in all 66 regular season games and appeared in the first two playoff games against the Sixers but didn't leave the bench in Game 3.
"Rip [Hamilton] played more minutes, so that's what we were going with,'' Thibodeau said.