In advance of Wednesdays showdown with the rival Heat, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau revealed some good news following the teams Tuesday-afternoon practice at the Berto Center: Luol Deng returned to the court.
Hopefully, Thibodeau responded when asked if the All-Star small forward would play in the much-ballyhooed contest. I want to see how he feels after practicing today, but he went through everything in practice and he felt pretty good.
Conversely, the teams other All-Star, point guard Derrick Rose, sat out of the practice, though Thibodeau said the reigning league MVP would be in action against Miami.
Just a little sore, rest, said the coach. Hes nicked up a little bit.
Wear and tear, so hopefully the rest will do him good.
The Chicago native watched video with Thibodeau after practice a familiar routine from last season but was unavailable for comment. It can be assumed that Roses soreness arose from Monday nights win over the Knicks, in which he took a few hard spills and afterwards, criticized the officiating, resulting in a 25,000 fine from the league Tuesday.
You guys know Derrick. Derricks not a complainer, so usually, if he says something, he has a point he wants to make, said Thibodeau. I thought he was driving the ball pretty hard and didnt get calls.
It comes with experience and I think that hes developing relationships with NBA referees. Hes a hard guy to officiate and sometimes, because of his speed and power, you dont recognize when he is being hit and usually, hell play through things and he doesnt say very much, but I think he was frustrated, so he made his point, he continued. Hes very respectful about making his points. I dont think he ever is at a point where he shows somebody up. When he has something to say, he says it.
Meanwhile, Roses understudy, C.J. Watson, continues to recover from his sprained left ankle.
Hes doing a little bit more and hes not quite there, but well see tomorrow after the shootaround, Thibodeau said of Watson, who was doing conditioning drills after practice. Theres a possibility. Hes doing running and shooting, and stuff like that.