Chicago Sun-Times

Challenge mounts for Thibodeau as Bulls' injuries pile up

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Joakim Noah kneeling.jpgLast season, Richard Hamilton missed 33 of the Bulls' 66 regular-season games, leaving the lineup five times.

Today, he is the reigning iron man of the Bulls. Hamilton's 19 consecutive starts is the longest current streak on the team. Luol Deng and Taj Gibson are next -- with three each.

That's how bad the Bulls' injury situation has become after Joakim Noah (foot), Carlos Boozer (hamstring) and Kirk Hinrich (elbow) missed Friday night's 93-89 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Suddenly, Derrick Rose is one of the healthiest players on the team.

It is unlikely if Noah, Boozer or Hinrich will play tonight against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

''[They're] day-to-day,'' coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. ''We want them to get healthy. But you can't wait on them. They have to take care of getting better. Guys [who are healthy] have to focus on improving and get ready for the next game. We had more than enough to win [Friday night]. We didn't get it done.''

Thibodeau said he had ''no idea'' when the injured players would return. But all three have situations that usually require rest beyond the recovery of the injury, so Noah, Boozer and Hinrich could be day-to-day for a week or more.

That complicates the situation for tonight's game against the Hawks, because our players played 40 or more minutes against the Nets -- Taj Gibson (48), Luol Deng (47:56), Nate Robinson (41) and Jimmy Butler (40). The Hawks have played one game in the last six days -- a 93-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on February 2, 2013 6:43 AM.

Loss to Nets not a net loss for short-handed Bulls was the previous entry in this blog.

Noah, Boozer, Hinrich out for Bulls vs. Hawks is the next entry in this blog.

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