Deng injures shoulder in Bulls' win

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Deng injures shoulder in Bulls' win

NEW YORK At the midway point in the third quarter of the Bulls wild, 110-106 Friday night win over the Eastern Conference-leading Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Luol Deng was stripped by New York veteran guard Jason Kidd and doubled over in pain, clutching his left shoulder. During the ensuing timeout, Deng was seen trying to stretch his left arm and when play resumed, he remained on the Bulls bench, attended to by the teams trainers and with a heat pack on his shoulder.

At the 3:26 mark of the same period, Deng checked back into the game, en route to notching 29 points and 13 rebounds in the victory. Immediately after the game, Deng talked about the injury to CSNChicago.com while still on the court.

I really don't know. We'll check it. It's sore right now. I was going up for a shot at J-Kidd kind of stopped my arm from the motion, Deng told CSNChicago.com. I hope it's just a muscle. We'll check it though.

He later discussed the injury in greater detail in the visitors locker room, after removing an ice wrap.

I was just going up for the shot. He Kidd kind of hit my arm when I was going up and well see tomorrow with my shoulder, Deng recounted. I felt it right away in my shoulder, but my arm was just numb, so I was worried that my shoulder would be out of place. But after a few minutes, it started to feel a little better. Its sore now, but its not dislocated or anything like that.

Were going to check again tomorrow, but I dont know exactly what it is. Its something with a ligament there. I dont know if its a sprain, he continued. Its almost like a pulled muscle. I dont really know. Ive never had anything like this.

Well see how it feels tomorrow morning and then well go from there.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau also shared his thoughts about the scenario.

I think hes fine, the coach said, before offering his opinion on the play itself, in particular, Kidd not being whistled for a foul. Some would say strip. Others would say something else.

He said, Im good, put me back in. I said, Im good, youre going back in, Thibodeau continued, referencing Deng being reinserted into the contest. He just got nicked up.

Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki: Growing up 'I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan'

Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki: Growing up 'I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan'

When Dirk Nowitzki was a young teenager growing up in Wurzburg, Germany, there were only a few NBA games on TV each week. And more times than not, in 1991 and 1992, the team seen most frequently was the Chicago Bulls.

It's why Nowitzki told reporters on Tuesday at the United Center that the Bulls were his favorite team as he grew up and learned to love basketball.

"I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan. If there was any franchise I would love to play for back then, it was the Bulls. Obviously Jordan, I was a huge (Scottie) Pippen fan. Pippen was actually my favorite for a long time. Just his versatility, his shooting, his defense, his rebounding, his playmaking.

"So I was a huge Pippen guy. and then later (Dennis) Rodman, (Toni) Kukoc. They had some great, great teams. and back in the day (Germany) only showed one, two games a week, and it was usually Chicago. So, great, great sports town, great history, and it's always fun to play here."

After a successful stint in Germany, playing for DJK Wurzburg from 1994 to 1998, Nowitzki was the 9th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. The Bucks traded his rights to the Mavericks, where Nowitzki has been ever since.

The future Hall of Famer's illustrious career has included an NBA title and Finals MVP in 2011, four selections to the All-NBA First Team, and he's sixth all-time in NBA in history in points. He needs just 307 more points to reach 30,000 for his career.

For what it's worth, the Bulls drafted 28th in that 1998 NBA Draft and selected Corey Benjamin.

Dirk and the Mavericks square off against the Bulls tonight at 7 p.m. on CSN+.

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.