Which of the Bulls' young players will develop next season?

Which of the Bulls' young players will develop next season?

Seeing as the Bulls don't have much flexibility to reshape their roster this offseason - meaning don't expect any sudden overhauls - it's going to be on the team's younger players to develop.

Players like Cameron Payne, Denzel Valentine, Paul Zipser, Chris Feliciio and Jerian Grant need to take steps forward or the Bulls won't move much from their standing in the Eastern Conference.

We discussed what to expect from the youngsters on SportsTalk Live. Check it out in the video above.

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Boston Celtics today in Game 5 on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. And be sure to stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live-streaming coverage of the Bulls.

1. Point guards need to be better. It’ll be Isaiah Canaan starting Game 5 at the point for the Bulls now that Rajon Rondo officially has been ruled out, but their game plan can’t be to have Canaan play 34 minutes again. That means one of Jerian Grant or Michael Carter-Williams is going to have to give the Bulls some semblance of good run at times early in the second and fourth quarters. And that’s assuming Canaan can replicate Game 4’s performance.

2. Perfect time for a Jimmy Butler takeover game. Jimmy Butler has been good, not great, in this series. And for a No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed, the eight seed’s best player needs to be great. Butler is shooting just 41 percent – and 24 percent from deep – despite averaging nearly 25 points per game. This could be a game where he decides to take over. When he does that (and is hitting jumpers), he’s unstoppable and can win a game himself.

3. Niko, Portis or Zipser? The Bulls wouldn’t have won Game 1 without Bobby Portis, and they would have had a much tougher time closing things out had Paul Zipser not gone for 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. One of those two, or the struggling Nikola Mirotic, needs to step up in a big way for the Bulls, especially with Rajon Rondo out and Dwyane Wade struggling.

4. Is this now Isaiah Thomas’ series? With the Celtics going small Isaiah Thomas appears to have found his way offensively. He was dynamite in Games 1 and 2 with one of Gerald Green or Marcus Smart in the small-ball lineup. The Bulls don’t have enough options to throw at him when he’s on his game. There’s a reason he’s an MVP candidate, and if he decides this series is over the Bulls can’t match him.

5. The series is on the line. The Bulls are eight-point underdogs heading into Game 5, and the series is essentially on the line. A loss tonight means the Bulls need a win Friday at home AND a Game 7 road win in Boston against the top team in the East (record-wise). That just isn’t feasible. The season is on the line, and you can bet Fred Hoiberg has told his team as much – as if they needed to be told.

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Report: Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5

Report: Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5

Rajon Rondo is preparing to play in Wednesday's huge Game 5, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania. 

The point guard has missed the last two games after suffering a fractured right thumb in the second half of Game 2.

In his absence, the Bulls have struggled to find any consistency at the point and lost consecutive home games by a combined 26 points. Jerian Grant started Games 3 and 4 in Chicago, but he had a short leash. And after Michael Carter-Williams also struggled, Fred Hoiberg ultimately turned to reserve guard Isaiah Canaan. 

[RELATED: Will the Bulls be able to turn to Rajon Rondo soon?]

Rondo's return to the floor could have huge implications in the series. In the two games Rondo has played, he's averaged 11.5 points and 10 assists. The Bulls won both of those contests while the Celtics struggled to defend. 

Follow CSNChicago.com for updates on this development.