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Every championship caliber team has a "cult hero."  Since Brian Scalabrine does not dress anymore, the hero to many is Kurt Thomas.  I've never liked Kurt Thomas as much as most, but I realize the value he has for the Bulls.

Thomas' contributions in the absence of Noah have been exaggerated.  I mean the guy's PER was around 10.  He's a shell of what he once was, and has limitations at 38.  He can hit 15 footers all day, and set really good picks (ask Darren Collison) but that's the extent of his contributions on the offensive end.  Defensively, he has good hands, and is a "crafty veteran," while showing the ability to take charges and bang with opposing big guys down low. 

When looking at past Bulls playoffs teams, one thing that those teams never had was an enforcer, or a tough guy.  When we beat the Heat a few years back, we didn't have one.  When we played Detroit, Boston and Cleveland, we didn't have one.  In 2011, we have our body guard.

And I'm my world of stats, I don't necessarily put a value on what "Big Sexy" brings to the table other than his limited game.  He's the protection for Derrick Rose and Luol Deng when they don't get calls or when they're violently fouled under the rim.  He gets under the skin of mentally weaker players such as "Big Baby."  He'll continue to do that in the later series of the playoffs.  I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't play much in the first series, but I suspect he'll be guarding Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, etc. when the time comes.

Every player on this team has a role.  And every player on this team knows their role.  Kurt Thomas' role is to beat the hell out of someone without getting in too much trouble.  Is it dirty?  No, not really.  Is it necessary?  Probably not.  But can he help the Bulls?  Yes.