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NBA - Hurting Bulls soldier on at U.C. today


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The injury-depleted Chicago Bulls host the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night as they continue their quest to climb up the playoffs ladder in the crowded lower tier of the Eastern Conference.

The task ahead won't be easy because injuries have plagued the Bulls all season long, a narrative that will carry on today at the United Center. Already without superstar Derrick Rose, who continues to rehabilitate from a surgically-repaired ACL, the injury list sadly continues to grow for Chicago.

All-Star center Joakim Noah, bugged by a recurring plantar fasciitiis that made him miss two weeks of action, is likely to sit out or play very limited minutes. The 6-foot-11 behemoth re-aggravated his injury after playing against Detroit this Sunday at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Fellow All-Star Luol Deng is also likely to sit out this game, no thanks to a bad hamstring. Also out is reserve forward Taj Ginson who recently tweaked his already sprained MCL. But Marco Belinelli, who returned Sunday after recuperating from an abdominal strain, will likely see action in limited minutes.

Despite their nicks and bruises, head coach Tom Thibodeau has somehow kept the Bulls in the playoffs mix and with a 42-34 record they have a decent shot at supplanting the 44-32 Brooklyn Nets from the No.4 slot in the Eastern Conference, a feat that will reward them homecourt advantage in the opening round the playoffs that starts this April 20.

Already eliminated from the playoffs, the 29-48 Raptors come to Chicago on the heels of a 100-83 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday night. Toronto is lead by Rudy Gay, who leads the team in scoring with 19.1 a game.

In their only meeting thus far this season, the Bulls beat the Raptors, 107-105, when Deng hit the winning shot in overtime. They meet again in Friday in Toronto to close out their season series. (RG)

Photo: the author, Ricky Gardunio, at the United Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ricardo Gardunio.


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