Thibs expressed that "how Boozer responds to swelling will determine how long he is out," K.C. Johnson reported Thursday at the Chicago Tribune. X-rays after the game came back negative for any fracture, but there's enough swelling to keep the forward inactive. "Boozer figures to be out" Friday and Saturday's games against the Hawks and Jazz at the United Center, McGraw followed-up, adding that there's "no rush" with Tuesday's game being against the Wizards.
Taj Gibson is expected to start in Boozer's place, and it -- expectedly -- doesn't seem to bother Thibs, K.C. added:
"We're confident in our bench," Thibodeau said. "We feel we have five quality bigs and they've all started before. So when they get extended minutes, they know how to handle those. Taj has been playing at a very high level now for a long time. Omer offensively has made some really good plays. And we still have Kurt, who is still sitting there. And we all know what a great job he did when he filled in for Jo (Noah)."
With Boozer inactive, expect Rasual Butler to dress for the first time as a Bull, though minutes outside of garbage time shouldn't be expected.
Gibson started all 18 games Boozer has missed this season and played 61 of the Bulls' 62 games. Through Wednesday's games, he's averaging 7.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and tied for 16th in the NBA with 1.5 BPG, shooting a .485 TS% with a 17% Usage Rate in 22.0 MPG. Since spraining his ankle and sustaining a concussion and moving to the bench with Boozer's return, his PER had dipped from the low-18s to the high 13s -- currently sitting at 13.8. He's 6th in the NBA -- and leads the team with a 5.1% Block Rate -- while 4th in the NBA with a 97.6 Defensive Rating.