Deng: Chances 'not good' that All-Star plays Friday

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Deng: Chances 'not good' that All-Star plays Friday

DEERFIELD, ILL.Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Luol Deng is a game-time decision for Friday evenings Bulls home game against Golden State, though the All-Star small forward himself said his chances of playing are not good.

Its all right. Its getting better. Its a week today so hopefully Im back soon. It could be longer. I just hope its not too long, Deng said after the teams morning shootaround at the Berto Center. Theres a chance. But its also a back-to-back so my chances are better tomorrow Saturday in Washington. Well see.

Deng, who has a strained right hamstring, has missed the teams last three games.

Thibodeau acknowledged that Deng participated some in Fridays session, though in typical fashion, wouldnt disclose exactly what he or injured superstar Derrick Rose were able to do.

Hes getting better, well see, Thibodeau said of Deng. I want to see where hes at after he warms up tonight.

If Deng doesnt play Friday, its likely that second-year swingman Jimmy Butler again starts in his place. The leagues minutes-per-game leader is confident that his protg can continue to fill his shoes on a temporary basis.

Jimmys great. You never want to be hurt. But I think people are seeing what he can do. And it makes us better in the long run. Its a long season. You never know when youre going to be asked for minutes, he explained. Last year, not that anyone can fill Derricks shoes, but when we knew he was out for the whole thing, we struggled a bit to come together as a team and fill that role. But this year, hes been out so long and weve been able to do that.

Bulls: Rajon Rondo calls incident with assistant coach 'part of the game'

Bulls: Rajon Rondo calls incident with assistant coach 'part of the game'

AUBURN HILLS, MICH—Rajon Rondo almost made it to the quarter mark of the season without incident, but his frustrations got the better of him in Dallas last weekend in a situation with Bulls assistant coach Jim Boylen.

He returned from his one-game suspension in a light mood, but didn’t take things lightly when addressing questions from the media after the Bulls’ 102-91 loss to Detroit.

Rondo admitted that he feels so strongly about things that he doesn’t let them go as easily as he should, which could have been the case with Boylen. Rondo threw a towel after an exchange with Boylen during the Bulls’ blowout loss to the Mavericks.

“That’s a good way to put it. Me as a player, a point guard, I have to handle a situation better,” Rondo said. “But when I feel a certain way, I’m gonna speak on it. My whole thing is always for the betterment of the team.

“If it comes off wrong or a certain way I’ll try to work on that. But for the most part I’m not a selfish individual, I try to do what’s best for the team, try to watch film with my teammates. That’s just part of the game, who I am.”

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When asked if he actually threw a towel at Boylen, Rondo quipped, “You gotta look at the film,” and tried to downplay the situation as best he could, noting the timing of the event in question.

He apologized to the coaching staff and his teammates and believes there won’t be lasting effects, although the Bulls are in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

“Hopefully it’ll be the last three-game losing streak,” Rondo said. “It’s about how you handle adversity. We usually handle it well as far as bouncing back.”

Calling the incident “part of the game,” Rondo didn’t want to address specifics but given his history of instances such as these in Boston, Dallas and Sacramento, this one makes it a little harder to shake the reputation of being difficult to deal with.

“I have a good relationship with my team and I take pride in being a great teammate,” Rondo said. “I think we’re still on the same page. When you lose, things get blown out of proportion. When you win, it covers everything up. So we have to get back to winning basketball.”

His teammates have been supportive both behind the scenes and publicly, and were happy to have him back despite not being able to quell the losing streak.

“It was good. That's our starting point guard. We need veteran guys on this team,” Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said. “We need our bodies. He's our leader today so when we got down early he was the one who kept talking to us defensively. He's so smart out there on the floor, takes certain things away, get out in open transition. The reason we got back in the game, he did a good job of leading us in those moments.”

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Slide Continues After Loss In Detroit

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Slide Continues After Loss In Detroit

In the latest BullsTalk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill break down the Bulls latest losing streak. What is the biggest problem with the Bulls facing the Bulls going forward? Why was the rotation completely different in Monday and Tuesday’s games?

Then listen to Fred Hoiberg’s media session after the 101-92 loss in Detroit.

With the Spurs coming up on Thursday, the guys discuss how San Antonio continues to be an elite team despite the retirement of Tim Duncan. Will Perdue shares his memories of being traded for Dennis Rodman, of playing 4 seasons for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and the relationship he has with the legendary coach. Plus Kendall shares a story of Pat Riley’s motivational locker room tactics.

Catch the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast right here!