Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah Will Reportedly Miss Game 5 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 04: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls looks to pass the ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 4, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will miss Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to Johnson:

Joakim Noah ditched his crutches Sunday in favor of a large walking boot to protect his severely sprained left ankle, which also will force him out of Tuesday's Game 5 at least.

Despite coach Tom Thibodeau calling Noah day-to-day and saying he is improving, Noah still can't put full weight on the ankle, which remains swollen.

Entering Game 5 on Tuesday at the United Center, the Bulls will be face a 3-1 series deficit without their two best players. Derrick Rose, of course, fell victim to a brutal knee injury in Game 1 of this series, and the Bulls haven't been the same team since.

In the absence of Rose and Noah, Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson have struggled to score the ball consistently. Carlos Boozer has been the closest thing to a go-to scorer for the Bulls since these two key injuries, but he has been a bit erratic.

Boozer scored 18 and 23 points in Games 3 and 4 respectively, but he has failed to come up with big shots in the clutch.

Without Noah for at least one more game, it will be up to the Bulls role players to keep this series alive and hope for a return of their prized big man in Game 6. Either way, things aren't looking good for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 overall seed.