Here's the latest update on the Bulls' walking wounded:
Hinrich, as expected, didn't travel to Denver. Noah and Boozer said they will practice. Belinelli just plans to get shots up. All gametime.— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 6, 2013
"I'm hoping I can play," said Noah, who expected to go through all of Wednesday's practice. "We'll see how practice goes ... I felt pretty good (Tuesday). I was just shooting so we'll see how it goes in practice today and we'll see how (the foot) reacts to it."
Noah understands that this is the type of injury that can linger having dealt with it three years ago in his left foot, but he is confident he will be able to play.
"It feels better every day," he said. "I think it's something that I'm going to have to deal with for a little while, but I feel pretty good. We'll just see how it reacts."
And then Belinelli on his ankle:
"It's much better than (Tuesday) so I think I'm going to rest today," he said. "I'm going to lift a little bit, and we'll see (Thursday) morning how I'm feeling. It's better every day. ... I got a little pain so I want to be sure (the ankle) is 100 percent."
Tom Thibodeau, per usual, was non-committal, so there's no point posting any of his quotes here. Friedell himself said on Twitter that he thinks Noah will go, but didn't sense as much confidence from Belinelli. Carlos Boozer appears ready to go, although he looked really bad against the Pacers in his first game back from his hamstring injury.
Personally, I would have zero problem with Thibs pulling a Pop and sitting all of these guys, especially Noah. With it being the front end of a West back-to-back in a really tough environment in Denver, why push these guys when the outcome is a likely loss anyway? Sure, no game is EVER a definite loss the way these Bulls play every night, but I'd be willing to sacrifice this one and just regroup on Friday in Utah.
Of course, that's not the way Thibs Ball works, and if these guys are "ready," they will play. I just really hope that Noah is on some sort of minutes limit and isn't thrown out there for 40-plus.
As for Kirk Hinrich, I don't expect him back until after the All-Star Break at this point. Whatever.