Carlos Boozer took the floor as the lone regular starter with Tony Snell, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy, and Nazr Mohammed Tuesday night against Milwaukee at the United Center in Chicago. But on the second of back-to-back games on Wednesday night, the injured center, Joakim Noah, walked to his normal spot on the court just before tip off against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Noah sat out of Tuesday's game due to a knee contusion and had his knee drained after the contest.
"My knee feels all right," he said. "I got it drained. I got in the quad, and my knee for some reason just swelled up real bad. So I got it drained and I feel better."
He had been playing on the knee even after injuring the knee about a week back, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago. Noah says the swelling just accumulated and got to the point he couldn't play on it anymore.
"I think he wants to play all the time," Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The swelling's gone down in his knee, or his thigh area. He feels better, so he's going to give it a shot."
Teammate Luol Deng has been out for three consecutive games with a sore Achilles and had set Wednesday's game as a target for a return. Now it is unclear when the small forward will step foot on the court in a game again.
"I don't know," Deng said. "I wanted to play today. I kind of set this game as a target to play and I just didn't feel well warming up. We're just really cautious right now [of] coming back and then having a setback. So I'm going to try and practice [Thursday], or try to do more, see how much I can do, and hopefully I'll be back on the court soon."
In Noah's return Wednesday, he had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, as well as four assists in 36 minutes. Even with the Bulls' first loss in MSG in seven games, Thibodeau found positives to take away from the experience. “The fight is good.” (bulls.com)