Deng Questionable for Friday's Game

Deng Questionable for Friday's Game

Carlos Boozer will miss Friday's game, when the Bulls (45-18) host the Hawks (37-27) -- after collapsing in their first meeting last week. Unfortunately, the team may also be without Luol Deng, who's missed the morning shootaround, due to a nagging bruised thigh he sustained in the Bulls' win over the Heat on Sunday, K.C Johnson reported Friday at the Chicago Tribune:

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Luol Deng will be a game-time decision because of his bruised left thigh. Deng was held out of shootaround.
Deng said he tried to run Friday morning but still experienced pain so he rode a stationary bicycle. He said he has been icing the area and hopes it responds when he warms up before Friday's game. But he didn't sound optimistic.
"It's still hurting me quite a bit," Deng said.
Ugh.

Thibs didn't confirm who would start in place of Boozer, but it's expected to be Taj Gibson. Deng would be needed in smaller lineups to defend the Al Horford-Josh Smith combos at the big end of the Hawks' lineup. Kurt Thomas is just too slow.

Because it isn't bone or ligament damage, weighing a Deng in pain against Thomas isn't a clear advantage, right?
Deng has started all 63 games this season. Rasual Butler, who was signed Mar. 3, will be active for the first time.
The Central Division champion Bulls enter Friday a 1.5 games behind the Celtics (46-16) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The C's play the 76ers (33-31) in Philly on Friday. The division's wrapped up, yes, but they all count, we have to admit.
UPDATE: Boozer's walking boot doesn't really tell us much, K.C. tweeted:


Just saw Carlos Boozer for first time since ankle sprain. He is indeed in a walking boot, but was last time as well and only missed 3 gms.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

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