The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat continue their rivalry Friday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, only this time, the Bulls have the luxury of playing in front of their home fans at the United Center. With the series tied at 1-1, playing at home gives Chicago a great chance to gain some ground in the series.
Unfortunately, they’ll likely have to do so without the services of Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich who haven’t officially been ruled out of Game 3 by Tom Thibodeau, but it’s unlikely the two starters will make an appearance.
On Thursday, Deng spoke for the first time about his flu-like symptoms that resulted in the All-Star having to undergo a spinal tap which he then suffered complications from. Deng said through the ordeal he’d lost approximately 15 pounds and still doesn’t feel well physically, let alone being able to play basketball.
“I tried to shoot a little bit and I struggled. I couldn’t do it. We’ll see,” Deng told CSN Chicago after the Bulls’ practice Thursday at the Berto Center. “I want to play, but I don’t know what I can do. I haven’t done anything. It really sucks."
As for Hinrich, he didn’t participate at all in Thursday’s practice session as the left calf bruise he’s suffering from still hasn’t improved to the point of him being able to take the floor with his teammates.
The Bulls are used to playing shorthanded and they have been all year, but against the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs, it doesn’t bode well for them in this series that two of their best active players are out and unable to participate.
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