Deng expected to play tonight versus Pacers:
Somewhat lost amidst all the drama surrounding Tyrus Thomas was the fact that Luol Deng missed practice on Monday because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. However, he’s expected to play tonight against the Indiana Pacers. Deng missed 33 games last season thanks to a stress fracture in his right tibia, but he’s been an iron man this season, appearing in all 49 games despite playing with a fractured left thumb.
Remember what Deng said earlier this season: “Last year when I was sitting, I made a commitment to play all 82 games this season. Even though it wasn’t my fault last year, I didn’t want anyone to say anything about me being soft anymore. That’s why I don’t want to take any game off all year. I just want to do my job.”
The Bulls do not heart Indiana:
The Pacers (18-33) aren’t a very good team. In fact, they haven’t been a very good team since The Malice at the Place. Not that Indy’s descent into mediocrity and worse has benefitted the Bulls at all. Since it opened in 1999, Chicago is 3-17 at Conseco Fieldhouse…and the Pacers’ winning percentage in these games (.850) is its best over any East opponent at home during that stretch.
Last February, Derrick Rose had one of his worst-ever games as a Bull, scoring only 3 points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Joakim Noah starring in remake of “Das Boot”:
Okay, that’s a bad joke from my freshman year German class. At any rate, the Bulls medical staff is trying to speed up Joakim’s recovery from plantar fasciitis by having him wear a protective boot and undergo both massage and electric stimulation. He also had blood was taken from his arm and injected into the foot.
I swear that last part isn’t a witch doctor cure.
According to John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy — used in plastic surgery since the 1990s — has gotten more popular among athletes, getting a push when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward credited the treatment with getting him on the field in time for last year’s Super Bowl, said Martin Leland, an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon at the University of Chicago Medical Center who is not working with the Bulls.”
Vinny tepid on Tyrus Thomas’ return:
Regarding “Tirade” Thomas’ return to Bulls practice, Vinny said: “What happened, happened. It’s over with. Hopefully, Tyrus learns from it and gets better. But, it’s not the first thing that’s happened with Tyrus. He’s got to be smarter and he’s got to be committed to the team. Today was a good practice — not for him, but for everybody and now we’ve got to move on.”
On how Tyrus can earn more playing time (emphasis mine): “Tyrus has got to run the court. Play hard. Execute the game plan. Hit open 15-foot jumpers. Be committed to the team. Same thing everyone else does. Everyone has a job on this team. Certain guys do different things better than others. Everyone knows their role, knows what they need to do and now they have to go out and do it. And the guys that go out on a consistent basis and are coachable and want to buy into the team and give us the best chance to win — those are the guys that are going to be out there. It’s a very simple process.”
Well, I guess VDN actually wants Ty chucking up jumpers…
Barkley high on Del Negro, low on Thomas:
Even though Vinny has apparently given Thomas a green light to shoot, Charles Barkley is still campaigning for Del Negro. Said Sir Charles: “If he gets the Bulls back to the playoffs, Vinny Del Negro should be NBA Coach of the Year. Derrick Rose was hurt. Tyrus Thomas was hurt a lot and crazy a lot. If he gets that team back to the playoffs after losing Ben Gordon, I think that’s a hell of a year.”
Regarding what to do with Thomas after his blowup at Vinny: “What I would say to him? Uh, listen, say it just didn’t work out here. ‘You’ve been traded to, uh … (laughs).”
Bulls earn C+ last week:
From Pippin Ain’t Easy: “The win against Miami was big, but the 3 straight losses just helps to emphasize the Bulls inconsistencies coming off a 5-game road winning streak.”
Memo the the Bulls — Crash the boards:
According to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald, from December 11 through February 2, the Bulls beat their opponents on the boards in 21 of 26 games. Now — with Joakim Noah first limited and then sidelined by plantar fasciitis — they’ve lost the rebound battle in three straight games. Enter Chris Richard.