Luol Deng was just not right Saturday. He was 5 of 15 shooting, just 3 of 10 on shots outside the key as he settled for jumpers rather than attack the rim. His decision making was not good in the offense. And he had that little task of trying to guard some guy named LeBron James.
Deng struggled, and the Bulls struggled.
Deng told the Chicago Tribune that he is not right physically.
“I don’t feel good at all,” Deng said after practice Sunday in preparation for Game 2 of the Bulls’ Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Cavaliers. “The calf strain took a lot out of me. And it’s still bothering me. I missed 12 games, but I wanted to get back into it because I know I’m needed for the playoffs.
“You want to be 100 percent, but at this time of the season, you’re not going to be. My name is on the roster. I’m out there and playing. So I have to do what I have to do.”
Deng missed the Bulls epic series with the Celtics last year because of an injury This year he is fighting through the pain, and so far he has not making a triumphant showing, He’s going to have to if the Bulls are to have any chance of winning a game or two in this series and making it interesting.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.