With just a few games remaining in the regular season, Chicago Bulls has let their star center player Pau Gasol play to help win more games for their playoffs push. While they tread in an indecisive spot in the Eastern Conference, head coach Fred Hoiberg has cleared Gasol as “good to go” despite a recent knee injury.
“Pau’s good to go. He’s going to play. We’ve got a plan to control his minutes. See how he responds to it, but he’s handled two straight days of activity very well, so everybody’s comfortable having him back out there,” Hoiberg said via ESPN.
However, despite the known return of Gasol, while playing restricted minutes during their match against the Sacramento Kings, there is still no assurance that he might easily get his momentum back. Gasol himself is convinced that he might not have a hundred percent performance this year.
“I’m probably not going to be 100 percent all year,” Gasol shared while recalling what had happened after their Miami game last March 11. “Hopefully, it’s not going to get worse, and we’re not going to have an episode like we did after the Miami game. That’s kind of the hope.”
On his first step in the court after missing some games due to a swollen knee, Gasol managed to score 14 points and grab 14 rebounds contributing to the defeat of the Kings, 109-102. With such performance of Gasol, the 14-year old veteran proved that even coming from an injury he can still play head to head against younger big men like DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings.
This return and proof of durability that Gasol displayed last Monday, is a testament that the Bulls can still improve their ranking or even hold on to their current 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. Even with the absence of Joakim Noah, Bulls could still be one of the contenders for the NBA title this year. Most especially if point guards Derrick Rose, and Jimmy Butler could have big plays over the coming games.
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