Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Luol Deng and Taj Gibson are both questionable to play against the Hawks on Saturday.
Deng says he will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Isn't sure if he will play tomorrow. Says his shoulder is sore right now.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 22, 2012
Taj says his ankle is still hurting. He isn't sure if he will play tomorrow. Not able to get much lift right now.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 22, 2012
Deng hurt his left shoulder in the Bulls' victory over the Knicks when Jason Kidd swiped at him in the third quarter. Deng was noticeably in a lot of pain and momentarily left the game before returning a couple of minutes later. He played really well and finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds, but we'll see how that shoulder reacts once the adrenaline wears off.
Gibson hurt his right ankle in the win over Celtics on Tuesday, and didn't look comfortable at all in his couple minutes of action against the Knicks. He had absolutely no lift and could barely make it up and down the court. Luckily, Tom Thibodeau recognized this and pulled him out of the game, although he probably shouldn't have been playing in the first place.
It wouldn't be surprising if neither guy played against the Hawks, and quite honestly, I'd almost rather they sit. Would it be rough to watch this team without those two guys? Absolutely. But considering some of the surprising victories the Bulls have pulled out so far this season, they can afford to pack it in for one night. Although, even if Deng and Gibson do sit, we know Thibs and the other players wouldn't pack it in. And who knows, perhaps the Bulls could pull another miraculous short-handed victory out of their behinds.