The Bulls could be facing a classic good-newsbad-news situation when they host the New Jersey Nets on Monday night.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, point guard Derrick Rose plans to return and face New Jersey. Rose hasn't played since Jan. 14, missing the last four games due to a sprained left big toe. That's the good news.
The bad news: small forward Luol Deng might be forced to miss his first game of the season due to a sprained left wrist he suffered Saturday vs. Charlotte. Deng said x-rays taken after the game were fine, but he underwent an MRI Sunday and the results are not known at this time.
Its fine. I just got hit on it, Deng said after Saturday's game vs. Charlotte.
Meanwhile, center Joakim Noah will likely be a gametime decision based on how his sprained ankle reacts during warmups. Noah described the problems the ankle caused him before deciding to sit out Saturday night.
I tried everything I could, said Noah. I had no push whatsoever. There was just no point in trying to play."
Johnson reports power forward Taj Gibson is likely to miss Monday's game with a sprained ankle he suffered Friday night in Cleveland. John Lucas III told CSNChicago.com's Aggrey Sam that he expects to return to the lineup Monday.
Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue break down the Bulls' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.
TNT Bulls are back this week as the team heads into a crucial stretch.
Currently, the Bulls sit half a game back of the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and with just eight games remaining on the schedule, each contest is essentially a must-win.
So, yes, Thursday would be a great time for Jimmy Butler and company to summon their TNT alter ego. The Bulls have sealed 18 straight victories when playing on TNT Thursday, an improbable feat considering those games are usually reserved for two of the NBA's best.
To continue that run, they'll have to down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are also fighting for playoff positioning -- albeit at the top of the conference. Good thing the Bulls have a tendency to get up for big games.
"The Bulls play up and down to their competition," Bulls Pregame and Postgame analyst Kendall Gill said. "They've been doing that the whole season."
After Cleveland, the Bulls get set to battle another playoff squad, the Atlanta Hawks.
Watch the video above to see Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the matchups.