NBA PLAYOFFS-- Facing elimination, no Noah for Bulls in Game 5
By Fakhouri Amjid
Tue, 08 May 2012
CHICAGO -- If the Bulls were to stave off playoffs elimination Tuesday night at the United Center, they will have to do so without center Joakim Noah, whose badly sprained left ankle remains very far south from 100 percent.
"He's most likely out," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune. Noah, who didn't practice Monday at the Bulls practice facility, is still wearing a walking boot on his badly sprained left ankle.
After winning Game 1 of their opening round best-of-7 series, the No.1 seeded Bulls have lost three in a row to the No. 8 seeded Philadelphia Sixers, who took a commanding 3 games to 1 lead following Sunday's Game 4 win at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelpia.
Things began to unravel for the Bulls in Game 1 of the series at the United Center where reigning league MVP Derrick suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Things then took a turn for the worse when Noah turned his ankle in the third quarter of Game 3 and missed the entire Game 4.
Without Rose, the team's best player and go to guy, the Bulls have struggled to score and finish games late. They blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead in Game 3 and their offense was wanting in the fourth stanza of Game 4.
Noah is the Bulls main energy supplier who makes $12 million this season. He is an rabid rebounder and tough defender, averaging 10.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in the regular season.
Without the 6-foot-11, 232-pound Noah, winning Game 5 against the pesky Sixers looms as a tough ordeal. (Fakhouri Amjid)
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