At the start of training camp Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau pointed to Wednesday night.
The Bulls’ late tipoff against the Western Conference powerhouse Thunder marked the next-to-last exhibition a game in which Thibodeau said that starters would play regular-season minutes and the rotation would take a more permanent shape.
That’s tough to do when All-Star center Joakim Noah remains sidelined with a sore groin and prominent reserve Kirk Hinrich has yet to be cleared from a concussion.
Thibodeau said Wednesday was Noah’s first day doing basketball drills.
“It’s basically all straight-ahead stuff” he said. “He’s completely deconditioned so we’re very concerned about that.’’
Noah who has played less than 20 minutes this preseason tried to paint a more positive picture. He says he feels better but acknowledged missing the high-profile regular-season opener Tuesday in Miami is in play.
“It’s possible” Noah said. “But I’m not there yet. In my mind I’m playing. I want to be out t