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Game Thread #49: Bulls at Utah Jazz

I'm shrinking this post so it (sorta) bumps up the Tyrus Thomas post below it.

This plantar fasciitis injury to Nocioni kindof came out of nowhere. Not as much the injury itself (he's been reportedly battling foot and elbow injuries for a while) but the actual missing of time. I thought he was NAILZ TUFF! Come on!

And not only is Noc out for tonight, KC Johnson suggests it may be until the All-Star break or beyond if a tear in the foot is revealed by the MRI.

Like the Wallace injury (although that only lasted a game) it's good to know that the Bulls are deep (just not very good) in the frontcourt. And again I'm hoping it means more time for Tyrus Thomas, although lately it's been Malik Allen seeing the bump in minutes. I can't say I'll be missing Noc's high possession-usage, but that's only the case if Gordon, Deng and Hinrich up their outputs and keep their high efficiency. Of course this injury also has ramifications on the trade front, as Nocioni has been one of my pet speculative trading chips as I think he may be overvalued around the league.

The Jazz have had a significant injury since the last time they faced the Bulls, with Carlos Boozer out for his annual ailment, this time a leg fracture. Luckily for them they have rookie Paul Milsap, the kind of undersized PF rebounding machine that gets overlooked all the time on draft day but often find a way to produce. Considering the Jazz beat the Bulls pretty soundly at the United Center as well as beat the Suns this past week, this will be a tall order. I'll be especially wary of a close game, as Mehmet Okur has defined himself as one of the best clutch shooters in the league. He's really come along as their go-to guy, running a two-man game with Deron Williams in end-game situations.

Blogging with the Enemy:

This is an open game thread, where you can collectively groan when the 3-guard lineup rears its ugly head.