By Brian Hamilton
6:56 PM CDT, May 24, 2011
MIAMI -- Omer Asik took the floor for early warmups before Game 4, but Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau remained coy as to whether the backup center would be available come tip-off.
"Once he's done warming up, we’ll know," Thibodeau said about 90 minutes before the game.
Asik is on the active roster for Game 4 but the extent of his involvement now won't be clear until the game unfolds.
Veteran center Kurt Thomas is the next option should Asik not be able to play due to a muscle strain in his leg suffered in Game 3. Thomas is intriguing because the Bulls need space-the-floor shooters at this point, and firing off mid-range jumpers is completely in Thomas' wheelhouse.
"It gives you another shooter," Thibodeau said. "We can spread people out better and (Thomas) also sets great screens.
"It's an option that we have. Omer has played very well defensively, protecting the front of the rim. So I don't want to change that right now."
It wasn't going to be much of a change for the Heat, either.
"If Asik is not able to go, Kurt Thomas obviously gives them a player to stretch the floor," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game. "I wouldn't call them smaller by any stretch because he's such a physical player, their defense stays the same. But he adds a different element with his shooting."
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