The Bulls will be short-handed again tonight against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, with Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich out.
Hinrich will be out at least a week after having his injured elbow ''cleaned out'' Friday in Chicago. He is not with the team. Noah is with the team but was in street clothes and did not participate in the Bulls' pre-game warm up. Boozer received treatment for his sore hamstring and warmed up lightly before the game but did not start.
The injury situation puts the Bulls in a tough spot against the Hawks (26-19). The Bulls are coming off an 93-89 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Friday night, with Taj Gibson (48 minutes), Luol Deng (47:56), Nate Robinson (41) and Jimmy Butler (40) playing 40 minutes or more.
The Hawks have not played since Wednesday night and have played just one game in the last six games.
Despite that disadvantage, coach Tom Thibodeau is expecting a supreme effort from his team, as always.
''Just got to be ready,'' Thibodeau said. ''Atlanta's a tough team. We have to put the work into it. Can't take short cuts. We've got to find a way.''
Asked if he expected the players with 40-plus minutes to pace themselves, Thibodeau's response was predictable.
''Nope,'' he said. ''Play.''