Derrick Rose says that he expects to play tonight when the Bulls host the New Jersey Nets at 7 PM CT on WGN America. He is still officially listed as a game-time decision.
Rose is joined on the Bulls injury report by Luol Deng (wrist sprain) John Lucas III (groin strain) and Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson (ankle sprains). All four, as well as Rose, are listed as day-to-day. Luol Deng sprained his wrist during Saturday’s win over the Bobcats and had an MRI on Sunday, but there has been no update as of yet.
The Nets come into the game at 5-12, and they are playing the final leg of a back-to-back-to-back tonight. They lost to Oklahoma City on Satruday and beat Charlotte yesterday.
The Nets are still without center Brook Lopez, who had foot surgery in late December and isn’t expected back for at least two more weeks. They are led in scoring by PG Deron Williams, but he is shooting only 37% from the field.
New Jersey leads the league in 3-pointers made and attempted, but they are making less than 35% of their attempts. Their defense has been horrible, however- they allow their opponents to shoot 49% from the field and 43% from behind the arc, ranking last in the league in both categories. They also rank last in the league in Defensive Efficiency, allowing over 110 points per 100 possessions.
The Nets have been hurt by injuries all year, as not one player has appeared in all 17 of their games this season.
The Bulls, on the other hand, rank 3rd in the NBA in offense and 2nd in defense. While the defense was expected, not even the most optimistic Bulls fan would have expected the offense to be so potent.
Rip Hamilton has made a huge difference this season- he is shooting 56% from the field in three games since returning from a groin injury, and the team is averaging 109 points in that span.
This should be an easy win for the Bulls, who are an NBA-best 15-3 so far.
Be sure to check back after the game, I’ll have the recap as well as highlights from Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington.