Obviously a huge blow, and well exemplified tonight, a game where Noah still played (after they determined he was getting surgery regardless) and the Bulls frontcourt absolutely dominated the Raptors. Noah still got a double-double in only 26 minutes (and one hand), Carlos Boozer was the game-high scorer with 34 points (and 12 rebounds) in 25 minutes, and even Taj Gibson was beasting tonight with 4 blocks.
Another solid blowout (4th quarter didn't count, garbage time) victory, where at least the other injured Bulls star, Derrick Rose, didn't have to do too much. Not only buoyed by the inside dominance of the Bulls frontcourt (we have a frontcourt! I mean, had one! argh!) but also going 7-18 from the three point line, any way the Bulls offense could score, the Raptors were happy to oblige. With Bargnani and Calderon out, even their hopes of outscoring the Bulls were dim.
But the news on Noah is pretty awful, though if there's any solace it's that the timing could be worse: rather than chancing the natural healing process, this surgery will be done with the games missed being mostly favorable towards the Bulls, and he'll be returning well in time for the team to get back on track before the playoffs.
A grim reality, as they were barely 'on track' after Boozer's return, but when they were they looked pretty great. So there's that to look forward to in a couple months. In the meantime it's more minutes for Gibson, Deng (as if he can do more), Boozer, and Asik. Even Kurt Thomas was a focal point of Thibodeau's post-game media scrum, which was a scary proposition, and not just because hearing a Bulls coach say 'Kurt' so much had me thinking Hinrich returned. A lot of scary times ahead, sadly.