- Bulls center Joakim Noah will likely return to the lineup but will be a game-time decision after missing three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Guard Marco Belinelli, who rolled his right ankle in Monday’s loss in Indiana, is also a game-time decision. Noah practiced Wednesday but Belinelli sat out. “I haven’t heard yet,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He didn’t do anything at shootaround.” Guard Kirk Hinrich is away from the team with a right elbow injury.
- Nuggets coach George Karl said the matchup between Kenneth Faried and Carlos Boozer at power forward concerns him, but Faried can gain an advantage with his energy. “It’s power versus speed. I’m worried about it a little bit but in the same sense I think Kenneth knows running is his asset” Karl said. “I think Noah can run with him but I don’t think Boozer can. It’s a little bit about pace versus execution.”
- The Bulls enter the game third in the league in points allowed and Denver is third in the league in scoring. Playing at altitude will be an added challenge for Chicago as it tries to slow down the Nuggets. “Their speed and quickness is something I’m concerned with,” Thibodeau said. “We are going to have to be great in our defensive transition. They require you to make multiple effort. If you don’t, you’ll be in trouble.”
– Michael Kelly