Joakim Noah expected to play, Luol Deng likely out

Joakim Noah expected to play, Luol Deng likely out
December 28, 2013, 11:00 am
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(USA TODAY Sports Images)
Mark Strotman

Tom Thibodeau said Saturday morning at the Bulls' team shootaround that he expects Joakim Noah to play tonight against the Mavericks, and that Luol Deng is a game-time decision.

Noah suffered a hip injury on Christmas Day in the Bulls' win over Brooklyn and was listed as questionable following Friday's practice. But Noah participated in shootaround and is expected to be in the starting lineup as the Bulls gun for a third straight win for the first time in more than a month.

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Deng has missed the last three games with a sore Achilles, and admitted that he'll most likely rest tonight. Deng said he wants to be smart with the situation and is looking long-term to be healthy for the remainder of the season, something he may not have done in prior seasons. In 20 games Deng is averaging better than 38 minutes, including 42 minutes per game in five December contests.

"Last time we gave it a rest and jumped right back in and ended up sitting out again," Deng told reporters at the Berto Center. "That’s what we’re really trying to avoid."

The Bulls will travel next to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Monday.