[UPDATE by your friendly BullsBlogger, 12/10/13 11:37 AM CST: Both Deng and Butler are out tonight. ]
With 60 percent of their starting lineup out due to injury, the Bulls scored just 75 points and stunk up the joint in a 17-point loss to the Pistons on Saturday. Expect the Bulls to be without 60 percent of their starting lineup again Tuesday against the Bucks, as Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler both sat out of practice on Monday.
Deng is the most recent Bull to go down with an injury. The forward missed Saturday's debacle with an Achilles injury, although in typical Bulls fashion, it was initially said to be an issue with his calf. Deng also revealed that he actually first suffered the injury Nov. 27 in Detroit, but he fought through it, playing 137 minutes in the three ensuing games. Because of course.
Deng's injury isn't considered serious, and ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell reported an MRI showed nothing bad. Deng got up some shots in practice Monday and still could play against the Bucks, but as usual, the Bulls should be smart about this injury. I don't expect Deng to play, and if he doesn't, the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson believes Taj Gibson will once again start at the 3. Gibson had 21 points and 10 rebounds in 42 minutes as the starting 3 on Saturday.
As for Butler, he has missed nine straight games and will almost certainly be out against Milwaukee due to turf toe. However, Thibs did say Butler was at about 75 to 80 percent, so a return should come relatively soon.
Veteran point guard Mike James did practice, although there's little reason for him to play ahead of Marquis Teague considering Teague actually didn't look like a train wreck against Detroit. His PER is almost back up to 0, guys!
The Bucks are also dealing with numerous injuries. Zaza Pachulia will miss a month with a broken foot, Caron Butler is dealing with a knee problem, Gary Neal may miss the game with a foot injury and Larry Sanders remains out with a thumb injury. So yeah, things aren't going too well in Milwaukee and the Bulls really should be able to win despite their own short-handedness.