Deng returns to starting lineup

Deng returns to starting lineup
January 29, 2013, 12:36 am
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Luol Deng will return to the starting lineup for the Bulls tonight as they host the Charlotte Bobcats.

The All-Star small forward missed the past five games with a right hamstring injury he suffered on Jan. 18 in an overtime win at Boston.

Coincidentally, it is Luol Deng bobblehead night at the United Center.

The move will mean Jimmy Butler is headed back to the bench.

Butler averaged 14.2 points, 8.6 rebounds in 45.2 minutes during the five games Deng sat out. He also shot 95 percent from the free throw line (22-of-23) as the Bulls went 3-2 in that span.

Despite reverting back to his old role, it wont deter the second-year forwards approach.

I feel great. Glad to have Luol back, Butler told reporters after the Bulls morning practice. Were just gonna keep rolling, same role coming off the bench and just try to keep winning games.

While Butlers play has proved hes deserving of more playing time with Deng back in action, coach Tom Thibodeau just wants to continue doing whats best for the team.

Jimmy is a big part of the team and Lu has been huge for us, Thibodeau said. We know we have flexibility. We can play Lu and Jimmy together, so whatever the team needs. You also have to look at all your wings. You have to look at Rip and Marco. Its good to have everyone back, but were going to do whats best for the team.