Asik's rookie season ends with fractured fibula

As if news couldn't get any worst for the Bulls.

Turkish rookie
Omer Asik is out for the rest of the season due to a fractured left
fibula, the Bulls officially announced
on Wednesday, a day after their 101-93 loss to the Miami Heat in Game
4.

What's even more interesting is that Asik played through the
fractured fibula in Game 3, when he first suffered the injury in what
appeared to be stepping on Derrick Rose's foot.
But that's been the Bulls' way all season. They've battled hard for each other all season, though it may not matter anymore as they face a 3-1 series deficit to the Heat with the series returning to Chicago for Game 5 on Thursday.

You know what, it wouldn't be a surprise at all if the Bulls win Game 5 on pride alone. After Game 4, the writing was on the wall. The players tried to say the right things, but even they knew: these Heat are simply better.

"It's not over," Derrick Rose said to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Added Joakim Noah: "Sometimes effort isn't enough. You've got to do more than that."

These Bulls have been a resilient bunch all season. Can they win Game 5 to force the issue, put the pressure on the Heat with Game 6 in Miami? Yes, they certainly can.

But the fat lady is getting ready to begin singing. The Bulls might not know this stat, but we do: Only three teams have came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Conference finals. The last time it happened? 1981, when the Boston Celtics came back versus the Philadelphia 76ers.

The odds are definitely against the Bulls. As they've been all season long, ironically.

Omer Aisk.jpg
You never want to wish an injury on a player, although Asik's may be a blessing in disguise. Even if the Bulls' chances of coming back in the series are slim, it's still possible. And now, the chances of coach Tom Thibodeau using Kurt Thomas are high.

At least, that's the hope. The Bulls have failed to execute many successful pick-and-rolls this series, which is bad considering the high volume of them the Bulls run.

Thomas is the only center on the Bulls' roster who can hit that 15-footer. He showed it during the regular-season and in his limited playoff action.

The Heat don't respect Joakim Noah or Asik as offensive players. That's been made very clear thus far. But can you blame them?

With Asik out nearly all of Game 4, Thibodeau went exclusively to a Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson frontcourt. Why didn't he go to Thomas? Maybe because Thomas hasn't played in three weeks, however, he's shown he can go through stretches of not playing and look like he hasn't skipped a beat.

Whatever the case, this is the end for Asik this season, who played an excellent rookie campaign filled with bursts of energy and potential.

Here's an early nominee for the best game of his rookie season: Five points, 13 rebounds and two blocks versus Dwight Howard's Orlando Magic.

We'll see what Thibodeau does, although fully expect him to give Thomas a look in Game 5. If anything, he'll Thibodeau will do his due diligence with Kurt "always ready" Thomas.

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