Derrick Rose (toe), Taj Gibson (ankle), Joakim Noah (ankle) and John Lucas III (groin) all sat out Saturday night's 95-89 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Luol Deng injured his left wrist late in the game and wore a huge ice pack over it in the locker room after it was over.
Of everyone, it sounded like Taj's injury may be the most serious, a high-ankle sprain that Gibson pre-game Saturday said couldn't even put a timetable on recovery yet.
Of course, the Bulls still won that night over the woeful Bobcats in a sloppy yet entertaining game. Another great performance from Deng and Carlos Boozer (19/32 from outside of 10 feet the past 3 games, and nice power moves when he had the right matchup against Byron Mullens), Omer Asik playing a career-high 39 minutes, Rip Hamilton continuing to impress, and even DLeague call-up Mike James having a nice game.
The Bulls are encountering a different challenge than last season, as though Noah and Boozer had extended absences everyone else was very healthy all season. But they keep winning. I think KC Johnson put it well in saying that while the Bulls depth and resilience may not matter in the season-goal of beating Miami, it's still really special to behold. Even something like Thibodeau's playing-time issues (for instance, throwing Deng back out there in a fairly-decided game after he had his wrist taped) can be thought of as just the mindset of this team: they go all-out, all the time, through whatever comes their way, to win the next game.
As far as temporary big man help, nothing has been reported yet. And despite Stacey King's protestations, Scal is a pseudo-coach not meant to even be a backup player. Sam Smith went over some options after the Cleveland game:
So do you add that big man you lost when Kurt Thomas signed with Portland? And is there one worth it? No one can seem to persuade Joel Przybilla to play. There are guys around like Etan Thomas, Francisco Elson and D.J. Mbenga. Could you talk Antonio McDyess into taking a shot with what could be a title team, and he’s mentioned that plenty as a goal he regrets missing after joining the Pistons and Spurs too late. Leon Powe? Thibodeau loves guys he’s coached. Malik Allen? Erick Dampier? Mikki Moore? They’re out there. But are they even worth bringing in here?
I don't know what the 'cost' is, chemistry I suppose. The Bulls play again Monday night at home against New Jersey, so there's not exactly any urgency. But the Bulls could've used a garbage-time big even before this rash of injuries, so I'm guessing they'll wake up Chris Richard from his home in the United Center storage closet.