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Bulls center Joakim Noah will not play in Sunday's Game 4 of Chicago's Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Philadelphia 76ers due to a sprained left ankle, according to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.Second-year big man Omer Asik will start in Noah's place. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says Noah is feeling better but is "not good enough to go" Sunday. Thibodeau says Noah is day to day for the rest of the series.
Noah suffered the injury in Chicago's Game 3 loss Friday after stepping on Sixers guard Andre Iguodala's foot midway through the third quarter on Friday. He actually returned in the fourth quarter, but he struggled to get up and down the floor before exiting the game for good.
The absence of Noah, who was wearing a walking boot and street clothes on Chicago's bench, means the Bulls will be without two-thirds of their preferred starting lineup. Point guard Derrick Rose will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL a week ago.
Thibodeau said the Bulls will miss Noah's versatility.
"Omer is more in the low post area," Thibodeau said. "Jo you can move away from the basket, he can play make. He's a much better shooter than he's given credit for. Jo can knock down those 16, 17 foot shots pretty consistently so that opens things up for you. That's probably the biggest difference. They're both excellent defensively. They're both very good rebounders, the offensive rebounding is the same. That's the biggest difference."
Philadelphia holds a 2-1 series lead on the Bulls.Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell was used in this report.