CHICAGO — Despite the win which was beyond impressive, the Bulls actually lost on Sunday night in a rather big way. Late in the game, Bench Mob kingpin C.J. Watson scrambled for a loose ball with Josh Selby and ended up injuring himself in the process.
The Bulls aren’t making anything official but are hinting at it being a sprained elbow for Watson which could sideline him for considerable time.
“We took an X-ray and it did not show anything. We’ll know more tomorrow.” said head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The Bulls are off to their best start since 1996-97 and finished last year with their best record since 97-98. Watson was a huge part of both last year and this year’s start playing head man of the now famous Bench Mob in Chicago. Watson came off the bench in relief of MVO Derrick Rose last year and continued that role into this season making an impact all along the way.
“I love it in Chicago, and I want to stay here as long as I can.” Watson said in an interview with Pippen Ain’t Easy last year. Since that interview Watson has taken the Bench Mob as his own, teaching guys the fundamentals of being a team player and proving that just because you come off the bench, doesn’t mean you’re not as valuable as the guys in the starting five.
Watson scored 4 points in 12 minutes before being injured. He was in a sling after the game and X-Rays were negative. An MRI is scheduled for Monday to determine how much damage there is to Watson’s elbow and how long the Bulls will have to be without him.
That’s where they lose. If Watson misses considerable time it will be a blow to their depth and to their reserve strength. The Bulls are thing at the point and would have to rely on Rose more heavily as well as veteran John Lucas III to fill the gap in the rotations. Watson’s leadership and production will also be missed.
Lucas scored 8 points in his ten minutes of relief which can be a sigh of one for Bulls fans holding their breath on Watson. It would mark Joakim Noah missed 10 weeks after having to undergo hand surgery.
The MRI Monday will determine whether surgery is needed for Watson’s elbow.