MIAMIThough it was widely speculated that Luol Deng would make his return to the lineup Sunday, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau put an end to that notion before his team took on the Heat.
Luol is out, said the coach. Hes doing more and more, and feeling a lot better. Id say hes very close right now.
You want to make sure he feels good about playing. Hes doing a lot more without contact. We want him to be comfortable, Thibodeau added. As long as hes moving in the right direction, then were pleased with that.
Thibodeau also noted that backup point guard C.J. Watson, who suffered a wrist injury in the Bulls Friday home win over Milwaukee, will also miss Sundays contest.
He is day-to-day, said Thibodeau. Hes a lot better today. Well see how he is tomorrow.
On a more positive note, starting shooting guard Rip Hamilton is expected to play.
While Thibodeau said Hamilton would warm up before it was determined whether or not the veteran would play, Hamilton himself confirmed that hed be available Sunday.