MEMPHIS — Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t present for the team’s morning shootaround at the FedEx Forum but is expected to arrive for Monday evening’s game against the Grizzlies after attending the funeral of his father, who died Christmas Day.
Thibodeau learned of the death of his father, Thomas Thibodeau, following the Bulls’ win in Brooklyn last Wednesday and went back to his hometown of New Britain, Conn., instead of flying back with the team to Chicago after the game. Thibodeau coached the Bulls in Saturday night’s home loss to Dallas, then traveled to Connecticut on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Bulls All-Star small forward Luol Deng is a game-time decision for Monday’s game because of his left’ Achilles injury, which has caused him to miss the team’s last four games. Deng said he would participate in the Bulls’ shootaround.
“I’m not sure. I’m going to go through shootaround and see how it feels,” Deng said. “I haven’t had a full practice yet.”
Jimmy Butler, the Bulls’ starting shooting guard, said he would play after logging 46 minutes in the loss to the Mavericks and having the aftereffects of aggravating his right turf-toe injury, which previously sidelined him for nearly a month.
“I feel good,” Butler said. “It was a little painful, but I got some treatments for it and days in between games, so it’s all about getting ready for the next one.”