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To add to Bulls woes, Omer Asik done for season

May 25, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Two Getty Images

Omer Asik barely made it out on the court as it was.

The Bulls Turkish backup center had a lower leg strain that would have had him sitting during the regular season but he went through warm-ups and gave it a go Tuesday night.

He was on the court for less than a minute when LeBron James fell into his leg. Asik left the court never to return.

Now he is done for the rest of this series, according to a tweet from Turkish journalist Ismail Senol (via SB Nation):

Bulls’ center Ömer Aşık is out for season. Ankle injury will keep him out for six to eight weeks.

CSN Chicago has confirmed this.

That’s going to mean more minutes for Joakim Noah if he can stay out of foul trouble, plus a little burn for old man Kurt Thomas. Both of which hurt the Bulls depth, Asik has been good in the playoffs in the limited role given him.

It’s not known how this would impact Asik playing in EuroBasket for his native Turkey this summer, the tournament where bids for the 2012 Olympics will be decided. The lockout and insurance for players will play a big role in that as well.

  1. Justin - May 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Even without Asik they kept the Heat out of the paint pretty good. The problems has been trying to overcome the Heats defense along with some growing pains out of Rose. He will come back next year smarter and better though.

  2. philtration - May 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Too bad. Asik is going to be a very good player.
    Kurt Thomas should have gotten some playing time last night because Noah was dead on his feet.
    Another night of bad player rotations by Tom Thibodeau and it cost them.
    Why he has gotten away from the plan that worked all season is beyond me.

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      Tibs did deviate from his stuck in the mud up to the wheels rotations when he put Shorty Watson in briefly. Considering how badly the Bulls have struggled this series in the paint to put the ball in the hole though, not playing Thomas last night just flat out made no sense. Did it ever occur to Tibs that maybe Thomas could have sparked the Bull the same way that Haslem sparked the Heat in game #2????

      • philtration - May 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        Thomas plays great defense, has a nice 15-18 foot jumper and sets great picks.
        He should have been in there at some point.

        Tibs can also get over Kyle Korver.
        If he is not hitting his shots then he is worthless but when he is not even attempting a shot…. come on man.
        Get Bogans in there. Get Brewer in there.

      • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        phil… What I’ve really noticed about Korver during the playoffs (I say during the playoffs because unlike the regular season I can actually watch all of the Bulls games), is that on offense he’s like a statue in your local park.

        That is to say, it seems like the only thing he’s capable of doing is taking a pass off of a pick and roll and heaving the ball up. Watch him Thursday night… he’s the only guy on offense who literally doesn’t move, yet on defense he’s always in motion. I don’t get it, but I’m not a one dimensional jump shooter either.

        As an aside, I think that the Bulls dodged a bullet when Orlando matched the Bulls offer sheet to JJ Redick, who’s another slow stationary one dimensional shooter that would have cost the Bulls a heck of a lot more.

        Unfortunately the upcoming free agent crop is mostly chocked full of 3 and 4 year guys who haven’t gotten over the hump (i.e., making signing them a real crap shoot). The guy the Bulls need to target is unrestricted free agent Jamaal Crawford. As long as the Bulls can keep party boy fat, lazy Eddie Curry away from him, I think that would be about the best option for a proven 2 guard out there.

      • philtration - May 25, 2011 at 9:08 PM

        I like Korver and he played great all year.
        He may be the best catch and shoot player in the league but he has not done it in the post season and it has killed them.

        If he does not give you that offense then he is a liability.

      • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        phil… I agree with you about Korver. When he’s on, he’s one of the most entertaining players to watch in the entire league!

        What too many people are forgetting is that Korber was brought in as a role player, not to be the savior of the offense. The only thing that I take issue with during this Heat series is that I’ve noticed he simply isn’t moving without the ball on offense, and that makes him much easier to defend.

        Bogans needs though to be moved to the second team or traded. If Bogans can play a credible point guard to spell Rose, then I’d move Shorty Watson in a trade (as he’s played well enough on the Bulls second team to have really upped his trade value). Korver doesn’t need to go, but the Bulls have GOT to get a legit #2 guard at least 6’5″ that would complement Rose and take being the only real consistent offensive threat off his back.

  3. purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Bulls are dead in the water now anyways; the good news is that this isn’t one of those injuries that requires surgery.

  4. chicago240 - May 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    The Turkish Hammer, The SuperBull from Istanbul, whatever you want to call him, has been great to watch develop this season. He’s a big body with good feet. He’ll only get better if he sticks around….and they don’t stir things up with Kevin Love.

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      chicago… I don’t think that any Bulls fans should lose any sleep over the possibility of them trading Asik unless it’s in a package to Orlando for Howard (and before all of you naysayers out there scoff at the suggestion, Orlando would be very stupid to let Howard walk for nothing like Bosh and La Bum did last offseason if they can’t sign him to a long term contract extension).

      Noah is too injury prone and still too inconsistent to roll the dice by not having a legitimate backup center like Asik around.

      The Bulls this offseason will be in a bit of an awkward spot due to the NBA’s goofy “match up salaries” trade restrictions. Shorty Watson, Bogans, Gibson, Korver and Brewer all have relatively low salaries, so in order to bring in a proven veteran #2 guard by trade would likely mean the inclusion of Deng in any meaningful deal. All that would do is fill one gaping hole but create another.

      After Boozer was signed last offseason, all of the Bulls other free agent pickups reminded me of going to virtually any hardware store… you know, they all seem to have a bargain basement table full of sub-standard tools and crap that you don’t want or need at discounted prices! In other words, the Bulls don’t need any more mis-matched assorted pots and pans; they desperately need a proven #2 guard who’s at least 6’5″ tall to team with Rose.

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      One other thought on next years Bulls….

      The Bulls were brilliant in unloading lost James Johnson for Miami’s #1 pick in this years draft (by way of Toronto). That pick is going to be at the bottom of the 1st round (as will be the Bulls own #1 pick of course), while there is an absence of “franchise or impact” players in this draft, the draft will be unusually deep with many athletic role players.

      The last count I read is that there are 62 collegiate players who have declared for the draft and another 22-24 Euro’s as well. The draft of course only goes two rounds (meaning that only 60 of these guys will be chosen).

      Since the Bulls glaring need is for a pure shooting guard, there should be several promising one dimensional ones available when both of the Bulls first round picks come up. I expect that the Bulls will use their pick on one of these guys and Miami’s pick to draft a project big Euro that they can stash (as they did Asik), over there for a couple of years.

      • chicago240 - May 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        The last thing the Bulls need is another one dimensional player. They have too many defensive or offensive specialists. I’d rather see them fork over some assets to Minnesota who’s gonna be looking for something for Love and bring in someone that can score AND play defense. Deng and Rose are the only decent two way players the Bulls have in their starting line-up and it’s hurting them in the stretch.

      • philtration - May 25, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        The Bulls need a shooting guard that create his own shots.
        I would like to see the Bulls draft Nolan Smith out of Duke with one of their picks.
        Justin Harper at PF would be another good fit for them.

        I don’t want them to over pay for a guy like Jamal Crawford because they should make a serious effort to get Dwight Howard when the time comes.
        If the Bulls end up with Howard there is nothing that Miami or any other team in the East can do to even come close to countering that move.

      • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        phil… we’re on the same page with the possible exception of trying to project what Reinsdorf might allow in terms of going into the luxury tax (as he has allowed in the past, most notably with MJ’s last two mega year deals).

        Most of the speculation that I’ve read is that with the new CBA the salary cap will drop (which means of course the luxury tax threshold will drop with it). Obviously the Bulls are going to give Rose a max contract at the end of next season (when he’ll be a restricted free agent), and that has to be factored in (as does how much the Bulls are willing to pay to retain Taj Gibson who’s also coming up on free agency).

        If the Bulls want to capitalize on their opportunity though, they MUST bring in a legit #2 guard, even if it means over paying and/or going into luxury tax land.

        Several mock drafts have Nolan Smith indeed going to the Bulls, but Mack is another guy who shows up on the Bulls with these mock drafts as well. The Bulls could also of course package their two number one’s to move up into the early ’20’s in the draft (or into the bottom half of the teens if they were also willing to throw in a player like Shorty Watson).

        No owner worth their salt would of course pass on the chance to land Howard, but nobody knows where Howard’s heads at right now with regards to whether he wants to follow the hot trend by moving into a big market with another star player (like Rose). I don’t see any team out there right now who could offer Orlando a better return so long as Noah is included as the key piece to such a trade.

        Per my earlier post, in order for the Bulls to trade for Howard, under the current (highly restrictive), trade guidelines, either Deng or Noah would have to be part of any deal in order to make the salaries match. I’m pretty sure that the Bulls have a mid-range exception that they could include (approximately $5.5M value wise), in order to make such a deal work.

        The other card potentially in play is that I’m sure Noah is still enormously popular in central Florida and by including him it would take a lot of potential fan backlash out of the equation.

  5. purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    phil… even if the T-Wolves were open to moving Love in a deal (and right now there’s no indication that they are because he’s their only drawing card), unless the T-Wolves were willing to take Deng back as part of a deal I just don’t see it happening because of the projected (lower), salary cap that will come in with the new CBA.

    With Rose coming up fast on a max deal, without Deng being moved the acquisition of Love (who also is coming up on a big deal as a free agent), that would leave the Bulls with four players making over $10M/year (is that realistic if the Bulls would have to give up Gibson and/or Asik as part of deal vs. signing Crawford as a free agent?).

    The other factor is the need to project how any roster changes on the Bulls will affect their ability to match up with Miami come playoff time. Deng is about as good as you could hope for to guard La Bum. Taj Gibson hasn’t shown the ability to do so, Boozer is too stationary and Rose too short.

    I honestly don’t know how Love would defensively match up against La Bum, but it certainly has to be a consideration should Minnesota decide to make Love available. (what are your thoughts on Love’s ability to effective guard La Bum?)

    • philtration - May 25, 2011 at 9:44 PM

      Love is athletic but I don’t believe that he can guard LeBron.
      That is a tough assignment.
      From what I have seen of him he kind of plays defense like Carlos Boozer.
      Slow on the rotations and gives up too many lay ups.

      The thing with Crawford is that he is streaky and that is why the the Bulls let him go in the first place.
      He is a guy who can light you up one night and then score 8 points that next and the Bulls just had that player in Ben Gordon.

      Deng makes a lot of money but he is underrated and he brings a lot to the team that does not show up in the box scores. When Noah and Boozer were out Deng did everything they needed night after night.

      I really like Noah but if you are talking about Dwight Howard then you let him go and have Asik as your back up. Howard is one of those dominant players that come along once every 10 years and he is in his prime.
      A no brainer.

  6. ledanielwade - May 25, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Hehehehe Love guard Lebron what a joke. Remember this is the worst Heat team you will see. (1st season) If there is any team Chicago should be worried about pending the right pieces put in place its the NY Knicks. I hate the Knicks because I am obviously from Miami but dont be blind because the Bulls would have lost to the Celtics had they finished the 2nd seed. Chicago has other teams to worry about also. Knicks Celtics and possibly Orlando if they decide to add another piece. Btw Love is a very good player but he is also a product of a bad team. With that said It would be good to see him go to a winning team especially the bulls because even as a Miami fan I feel bad that Derrick Rose has to do everything. Wade went through it here in Miami, Lebron in Cleveland, Garnett in Minnesota and it wasnt until 2 of these 3 (except Lebron) got help that they won a championship.

    • philtration - May 25, 2011 at 9:59 PM

      Just as Miami had to learn to play together this year so did Chicago.
      They added 8 new players and a new head coach this year.
      On top of that they had two starters miss a lot of time and they really only played a half a season together as a team.
      You say Miami will be better next year but they do not have a lot of options. The Bulls do.
      They have money available and two first round draft picks.

      Love putting up big numbers because he is the only good player is the same thing that was said about Chris Bosh.

      Knicks cannot play defense and are not that big of a threat.
      A lot of ESPN hype.

      Celtics are old and getting older by the minute. Their time has passed.

      Orlando is good but if Howard goes then they become the Cavs in a heartbeat.
      Atlanta is a better “team” than Orlando.
      I don’t see the Magic throwing out a lot of money with the Howard thing hanging over their head.

      The Bulls and Heat’s only competition in the East are each other.

      • purdueman - May 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        phil… nice post; you put a lot on the table to discuss.

        The upcoming free agent crop is as weak as last years was strong, but the projected free agent crop for 2012 looks solid. That creates a dilemma for the Bulls this offseason, in that it’s crystal clear that they have to land a legitimate shooting guard who’s at least 6’5″ in order to complement Rose and take the huge scoring burden off his plate.

        The wild card with respect to trade possibilities is what’s going to emerge from the new CBA? Most think that the salary cap is going to go down, as will the guidelines as to how many years can be offered to free agents and players seeking contract extensions.

        Depending upon when the inevitable lockout occurs, Howard might want to follow Mello’s lead by calling his own shot as to where he wants to play as well as getting as much as he can now before the guidelines change.

        The one certainty though is that only one team since 1976 has gone on to win an NBA championship with only one star player (that being one of the Pistons teams from the ’80’s), and of course the Bulls don’t have a second star player, nor is free agent Jamaal Crawford a star.

        As for who will compete in the East over the next 5 years? Agree with you that Boston’s run is over. What you didn’t mention is that Orlando is capped out and isn’t in the position to bring in another star player, and can’t win it all with the roster that they currently have.

        The Knicks issues go much deeper than just not being good defensively; they have ZERO bench and (presumably), signing Chris Paul at the end of next season isn’t going to fix that. That leaves the Bulls and the Heat, but don’t discount the great job Larry Bird is doing rebuilding the Pacers.

  7. coltsfanindc - May 25, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    how is LeBron a “LeBum?”

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 7:46 PM

      Cleveland fans hung “Le Bum” on him due to the totally narcissistic and classless way he chose to exit Cleveland, as well as all of the reports of him having an excessively large posse that leaches off of him following him around everywhere he goes (reference: the last time he played in Cleveland this past season and how the Cavaliers turned back his posse that was reported to be close to 20 people and denied them access both the arena as well as the locker room).

      The only valid reason for any professional athlete to be constantly accompanied by anyone is for security reasons, and that requires at most only two guys, not an entire “posse”. The reasons that pro athletes should be entitled to travel with one or two full time security guards is obvious: 1) They are easy marks for those looking for ways to provoke any reason to be able to then sue them; and 2) There are obnoxious autograph hounds everywhere that the players have a right to keep away and at arms length.

      Anything over and above one or two security guards is just being narcissistic and very annoying (I’m sure), to management and fellow players as well. I know that if I had the locker next to his and all these scumbags started encroaching on my space I’d want to deck them all. It’s a total lack of respect for his teammates.

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