So while it's nice for us to get a rest between Bulls games (isn't it?), the Bulls have to 'practice fully'. Fortunately that includes Joakim Noah now.
FWIW: Bulls just released injury update for the day listing Noah and Gibson (right ankle) as questionable vs. NYK. Noah said he'll play.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 17, 2014
On the less-than-fortunate side of the ledger, that Taj Gibson ankle injury is indeed new. He missed substantial time with a left ankle sprain, then came back and played 18 and 31 minutes. Then over 44 against Portland, followed by a back-to-back averaging over 38. I thought I saw him tweak something in the second half of the Hawks game and indeed that looks to be the case.
This is good news on Noah of course, who's missed the last 4 games (spanning 11 days). I was initially worried that he was rushing back to play his hometown team or something, but the Bulls/Knicks game is in Chicago tomorrow. It's the front end of another back-to-back, so ideally they treat the Knicks as preseason (as they should) and ease both Noah and Taj in. Provided they're 'cleared', of course.
I'll add an aside stemming from the comments from our Eastern Conference Panic Poll: are the Bulls an old team?
In a word: yes
If your instincts are suggesting that Nazr Mohammed (age 77) is skewing the numbers, the bad news is that B-R is already accounting for that, they use an 'effective age' which weighs the minutes played ((shout-out 'Hungarian Jordan' for checking their math).
The good news is that old teams are good, and can win. But it doesn't help the endless cycle of injuries, which luckily has been pretty minor thus far. And ironically the only one requiring surgery has been the youthful Doug McDermott.