PHILADELPHIADerrick Rose isnt walking through that door, due to his torn left ACL. Joakim Noah, while present, isnt able because of his badly sprained left ankle.

But what about Ronnie Brewer? Unlike the aforementioned pair, the swingman who started 43 regular-season games while starting shooting guard Rip Hamilton dealt with a variety of injuries is healthy, yet missed his first game of the entire campaign, playoffs included, in Fridays Game 3 loss to the 76ers.

Brewer has clearly been struggling on the offensive end, but even with a short-handed squad, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau not only elected to sit him, but went with rookie Jimmy Butler for limited minutes on the wing.

Rip played more, less minutes, so thats what we were going with, said Thibodeau. Just looking for something different. Wanted to give Jimmy a crack. Jimmys been working hard and I just wanted to see how he would respond out there. Actually, he didnt play a lot of minutes, but I liked the way he played.

Rather than being disgruntled about his DNP at least not publicly Brewer, one of the most affable players on the Bulls, was diplomatic about the move.

Whenever your name is called, youve got to be prepared to play and thats his motto since Ive been on the team. If my name is not called, somebody else needs to step up and play big. If my name is called, Ive got to be ready to step in and contribute, he told In this league, nothing really surprises me anymore, from not playing to getting traded, whatever it is. Ive just got to stay ready. My teammates have confidence in me, so whenever my name is called, Ive just got to be ready to play.


With an even shorter rotation due to Noahs injury and All-Star Luol Deng likely to log some minutes at power forward in Sundays Game 4 speaking of Deng, while hes been an ironman and led the NBA in minutes per game during the regular season, perhaps stealing brief periods of rest could help resuscitate his offensive game its possible Brewer makes a reappearance Sunday.