Injuries, combined with poor defense and a roster that doesn’t fit the new coach’s style, have the Bulls on the outside looking in at the playoffs as of this writing.
One of those problems is getting better; the Bulls are getting some guys healthy again. Derrick Rose is back from his hamstring tendonitis, and Jimmy Butler should be back in the rotation on Saturday, reports Vincent Goodwill at CSNChicago.com.
The Bulls will get their best player back Saturday, as Jimmy Butler will return to the team’s lineup against the Houston Rockets, in a game that could see the Bulls fall below the .500 mark with a loss.
Butler has missed the last 11 games with a left knee strain, and will officially practice with the team tomorrow, where coach Fred Hoiberg will likely be cautiously optimistic about Butler’s status.
The Bulls have gone 3-8 in those 11 games Butler has been out, and with that have slid half a game out of the last playoff spot in the East.
The Bulls are 3.2 points per 100 possessions better when Butler is on the court, and he brings improvement at both ends. He is a guy they can run the offense through, and he is their best perimeter defender.
Needless to say, his return is huge for the Bulls. Will it be enough is another question, but he’s not going to get eased back in going up against James Harden.