CHICAGO (WSCR) The injury to rookie center Omer Asik is proving to have a bigger impact than many would expect an injury to a team’s backup center should have. But with as much as the Chicago Bulls bench plays, head coach Tom Thibodeau will now have to make a tough decision.

Does Thibodeau increase the minutes of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer? Or does he play the veteran Kurt Thomas for the first time since Game 2 of the conference semifinals?

“I think you absolutely have to play [Thomas] tonight,” K.C. Johnson, of the Chicago Tribune, said on the Danny Mac Show.

LISTEN: K.C. Johnson On The Danny Mac Show

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“I’m not overstating what Kurt Thomas is, I’m not saying he’s a dominant All-Star or anything, I think he would help in this series tremendously. I think what he does is space the floor with his ability to hit the 15-17-foot jumper, and he’s a phenomenal phenomenal screener. And I think that that would really help Derrick in screen-and-roll [plays], because a lot of what’s happening is, when they have run screen-and-roll with Derrick, the Heat is not really honoring the person setting the screen. They’re basically just disregarding that screener. I think Kurt, if he goes out there, and he has an uncanny ability to not play, he’s not played since May 4, to not play for a long time and still go out and knock down shots.

“If he gets out there and hits a couple jumpers early, I think that would really really help some of the spacing issues that this Bulls’ half-court offense is experiencing right now.”

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