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

Deng: Chances 'not good' that All-Star plays Friday
January 25, 2013, 8:25 pm
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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.