News out of the Chicago Bulls’ shootaround prior to tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks is that Carlos Boozer is dealing with a hamstring injury and is a game-time decision, as the title of this post would indicate.
God only knows whether he’ll actually play or not; Luol Deng has been a game-time decision for the last two weeks with his own hamstring injury, even when it was clear that he would not be playing. Derrick Rose was a game-time decision for pretty much the whole of last season, and I’m mildly surprised he hasn’t been listed that way at all this year as he recovers from his ACL tear.
(That was a joke. He will most certainly be listed as a game-time decision in the coming weeks as he gets ready to make his return, however.)
Anyway, Tom Thibodeau is notorious for listing players as game-time decisions and there’s no real way to tell whether the player in question will actually play or not. If I had to guess as of right now, I’d say Boozer plays. But who knows?
If Boozer can’t go, Taj Gibson would start in his place. Gibson’s best game of the year came in his last start, January 2 at Orlando, when he put up 21 points and 11 rebound to go with 4 blocks in place of Joakim Noah. Putting Gibson in the starting lineup, however, creates a cascade effect on the bench. Thibs has been extremely reluctant — for good reason — to play either Nazr Mohammed or Vladimir Radmanovic for extended minutes this season, and when Gibson and Noah have missed time previously, Mohammed has played about 10-15 minutes, with Deng playing stretches as the nominal power forward to compensate. Expect Gibson and Noah to play about 40 minutes apiece, though.