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Noah Active vs. Nets
Wednesday, Oct. 28
Noah Suffers Knee Contusion
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported the 30-year-old suffered a knee contusion when Noah banged knees with Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. Noah did not return.
Questions Surround Noah's Durability Once Again
This is a concerning setback for the Bulls because durability concerns have surrounded Noah throughout his career.
He has never played a full 82-game schedule and missed 15 contests last season, and he didn’t appear fully healthy when he was on the floor. He averaged 7.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2014-15, which were both his lowest totals since 2008-09. He even labored at times moving up the court and appeared offensively spent by the postseason, when he posted 5.8 points per night.
The loss of the 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year would be a bigger blow on the defensive side of the ball. The Bulls need his defense, passion and veteran leadership if they hope to challenge the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference this season.
The silver lining for Chicago is its depth in the frontcourt.
Pau Gasol is a five-time All-Star who carried the Bulls at stretches last season while his teammates dealt with injuries, and Taj Gibson is a veteran big who provides quality rebounding and defense. Nikola Mirotic can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and gives Chicago another dimension on the offensive side.
Elsewhere, Bobby Portis is an intriguing, high-upside rookie who won the SEC Player of Year in 2014-15 at Arkansas. Much like Noah at his best, Portis brings energy and intensity to the defensive side and glass.