Deng back at practice; Rose fined for comments

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Deng back at practice; Rose fined for comments

In advance of Wednesdays showdown with the rival Heat, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau revealed some good news following the teams Tuesday-afternoon practice at the Berto Center: Luol Deng returned to the court.

Hopefully, Thibodeau responded when asked if the All-Star small forward would play in the much-ballyhooed contest. I want to see how he feels after practicing today, but he went through everything in practice and he felt pretty good.

Conversely, the teams other All-Star, point guard Derrick Rose, sat out of the practice, though Thibodeau said the reigning league MVP would be in action against Miami.

Just a little sore, rest, said the coach. Hes nicked up a little bit.

Wear and tear, so hopefully the rest will do him good.

The Chicago native watched video with Thibodeau after practice a familiar routine from last season but was unavailable for comment. It can be assumed that Roses soreness arose from Monday nights win over the Knicks, in which he took a few hard spills and afterwards, criticized the officiating, resulting in a 25,000 fine from the league Tuesday.

You guys know Derrick. Derricks not a complainer, so usually, if he says something, he has a point he wants to make, said Thibodeau. I thought he was driving the ball pretty hard and didnt get calls.

It comes with experience and I think that hes developing relationships with NBA referees. Hes a hard guy to officiate and sometimes, because of his speed and power, you dont recognize when he is being hit and usually, hell play through things and he doesnt say very much, but I think he was frustrated, so he made his point, he continued. Hes very respectful about making his points. I dont think he ever is at a point where he shows somebody up. When he has something to say, he says it.

Meanwhile, Roses understudy, C.J. Watson, continues to recover from his sprained left ankle.

Hes doing a little bit more and hes not quite there, but well see tomorrow after the shootaround, Thibodeau said of Watson, who was doing conditioning drills after practice. Theres a possibility. Hes doing running and shooting, and stuff like that.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Scott Darling gets the nod.

Joel Quenneville is giving a struggling Corey Crawford a breather tonight, electing to go with Darling in the final game of the father's road trip. Darling is 11-4-2 with a 2.34 goals against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 20 games this season. His numbers aren't as great on the road, where he is 4-2-1 with a 2.83 GAA and .901 save percentage compared to a 7-2-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage at home, but he fared well against Boston last season. The Lemont native stopped 42 of 46 shots, good for a .913 save percentage, in a 6-4 win at the United Center last April.

2. The Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line.

The Blackhawks' trio of Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin had a rare zero points in Tuesday's 6-4 win over Colorado, but don't expect to see that again. In fact, it could be the opposite. In their last meeting against the Bruins, a 6-4 win on April 3 during the 2015-16 season, they combined for 11 points (five goals, six assists), highlighted by a Kane hat trick that put him at 100 points on the season for the first time in his career. 

3. How the rookies build off a monsterous game.

In arguably the most well-rounded victory of the season Tuesday in Colorado, the Blackhawks had three rookies that had multi-point efforts. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals, including the game winner. Tanner Kero had two goals and one assist, while Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. It was the top-six that was doing the heavy lifting earlier in the season, now the bottom-six is slowly starting to contribute on a consistent basis. The Blackhawks will be in great shape if they can confidently roll four lines that have the potential to find the back of the net on any given shift.

4. Patrice Bergeron vs. Jonathan Toews.

Two of the best two-way centers in the league will go head-to-head, and it's always a fun matchup to watch. Bergeron leads the league with 597 faceoff wins, and is ranked fifth with a 58.4 percentage at the dot while Toews ranks eighth in wins with 473 — despite missing nine games with a back injury — and sits at sixth with a 57.5 percentage. Both of the perennial Selke Trophy candidates have struggled offensively this season, with Bergeron recording only 21 points in 45 games and Toews with 22 points in 38 contests. Bergeron has been heating up as of late, though, scoring three goals and six assists in his last eight games. Bergeron also leads the league in possession numbers, with the Bruins controlling 61.9 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when he's on the ice.

5. Brad Marchand.

In September, Marchand inked an eight-year, $49 million deal and it's already paying dividends for the Bruins. He has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last eight games, and 45 points total, which is by far the most on his team and tied for sixth in the NHL. He's 16 points away from tying his career high of 61 set last season, with a little less than half the year to go. He's also had great success against the Blackhawks. In his last six games against Chicago, dating back to the 2013-14 campaign, he has registered at least a point in all of them, scoring four goals and adding five assists. To make life more difficult, he's a player that enjoys getting under people's skin, so expect him to be a big factor tonight.

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