Bulls vs. Magic game preview: Noah doubtful, Hinrich probable for winnable matchup

USA TODAY Sports

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[UPDATE by your friendly BullsBlogger, 5:06 PM CST: Noah is out for tonight's game. ]

The Bulls start their Florida trip Wednesday in Orlando against a struggling Magic team. The Magic were generally expected (by me as well) to be at the bottom of the conference in the wake of the Dwight Howard trade, so a 12-19 record isn't too terrible. And it looked a lot better before this current 6-game losing streak they're on. Their latest loss was in overtime against Miami, a game where Nikola Vucevic (acquired in the Howard deal) set the franchise record with 29 rebounds to go along with 20 points.

They're still not fully healthy either, as while Jameer Nelson is scheduled to return (ht: KC) after missing two straight games and Hedo Turkoglu recently came back from a lengthy absence, Glen Davis is out. Given how he sometimes plays with way too much...confidence (?) relative to his ability, it's possible the Bulls are missing out on a dismal Davis performance which would be too bad. I'm sure Neil Funk is already looking through the roster for someone else he'll call out for 'settling' tonight.

[just kidding, Neil doesn't prepare.]

From the Bulls perspective, this may all be academic, as in: if Joakim Noah is indeed out with the flu, I don't see how they can win any game against anyone. Noah indeed looked lethargic and was ineffective on Monday, and a million 'hangover' jokes on Twitter now look pretty silly if he's legitimately sick. I stand by my own jokes though, because that's what we call being real. On Twitter.

Yeah, Kirk Hinrich may be back. Robinson and Teague were terrible in his absence Monday, but...yeah. It's Hinrich. It's always Hinrich. Anyway, if Hinrich's rushing back from this particular injury (whatever body part it is) and gets hurt again, we have recently learned from Bulls PR that it's only because he plays so freaking hard, not because the signing of an over-30 guard with debilitating health was a huge mistake or anything. To be fair, I suppose it could be both!

Early game! 6pm start. Would be really nice to get some good feelings from the team before the Miami matchup Friday. The Bulls defense has been struggling a bit, and facing one of the worst offenses in the league should help. They likely still need Noah though.

Make sure to check out Orlando Pinstriped Post, and even (possibly, if you're nice) join the predictions game they do for tonight's tilt.

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