LOS ANGELES -- Taj Gibson didn't practice Sunday after suffering what he called a pinched nerve in his right foot.
Gibson suffered the injury during slide drills at the start of practice and limped out of Staples Center.
real sore," Gibson said. "I don't know if I'll be able to play Tuesday
(against the Lakers), but at least we have two more days to let it
It's a brutal time for this injury, as the Bulls play four games in five nights. If he's not healthy enough to play in LA, then he's likely not healthy enough to play the next night either, and you might not see him on the final two games of the trip for that matter.
Still, this could simply be over-reacting if he's only questionable for the game. After initial reports made it seem that Kyle Korver was in trouble with his knee injury, he ended up playing all three games in Texas, and the issue hasn't appeared again in the press.
As for Gibson, if the feeling is that he only plays one of the next two games, save him for Phoenix. I know people will wig out at the idea of chalking up a game as a loss before it's played, but the odds of beating LA with Gibson are still long. The odds of beating Phoenix with Gibson are pretty good, but might become long without him. On this road trip, I'd be content splitting the next four games.
It'd represent the best circus trip the team has had post Jordan with a 4-3 record, and if it's managed with Boozer out, and Gibson hurt, then it's all the more impressive.
That said, they aren't going to rest Gibson if he's ready to go, and the odds are that no one knows how his foot will respond until he plays. Thus, my guess is he'll suit up against L.A., and we won't find out if he's too sore for Phoenix until the next day.
If Gibson were to miss the time, then it looks like the Bulls would lean on Brian Scalabrine as the next man to come in and play minutes along with an increased role for Omer Asik and probably quite a bit of small ball. The Bulls probably just look for the hot hands and ride whomever they feel that is.
They're faced with the fundamental problem that Asik can't stay on the floor due to foul trouble, Scalabrine simply isn't a volume minute caliber player, and small ball will get us murdered against L.A. I'd probably play Omer until he fouls out and go small as much as possible limiting Scalabrine's minutes if I had to make a choice on how to cope with the loss. I might also turn to James Johnson ahead of Scalabrine against the Lakers with the thought that he has a much better shot at matching up against Odom defensively.