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Bulls vs. Timberwolves game preview, injury report, lineups

TimberBulls are back in town

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (9-25) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (15-18)

7 p.m., NBC Chicago Sports

Injury Report:

Timberwolves starting point guard Jeff Teague is out seven to 10 days retroactive to Dec. 21 with a left ankle injury.

Derrick Rose is expected to play tonight after there was some doubt about his status yesterday for today’s game because of an ankle injury.

On the Bulls injury front, Zach LaVine will warm up with the intention of playing tonight. He’s missed five games with a sprained left ankle and if he does play tonight he’ll come off the bench.

The boys are back in town:

Anytime the Minnesota Timberwolves come to the United Center, circle the date on your calendar simply because Minnesota’s roster is still teeming with former Bulls and it’s great to reminisce on the good times.

Derrick Rose is a legitimate candidate for both Most Improved Player and the Sixth Man award. He’s averaging 18.5 points per game this season, his highest output since the 2011-2012 season and he’s doing it with a 48.5 percent field goal percentage to his name.

Taj Gibson is still doing Taj Gibson crap, you know being the consummate professional who plays hard every night and who will go to war for his teammates. This story won’t help those who are still sad that Gibson is no longer wearing the red and black.

Luol Deng sits on the bench, but he was on the legendary Jimmy Butler practice team when the former Bull threw his practice tirade so there’s that.

Tom Thibodeau still yells a lot and his voice still sounds like he smokes five packs of cigarettes per day.

John Paxson is still in town

While many of you were trying to enjoy your Christmas, Chicago Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson jumped on the radio for his annual state-of-the-Bulls address. Here’s a summary of what he said (all courtesy of Cody Westerlund from 670 The Score who was grinding on Christmas morning).

  • Paxson thinks you have to rely on the draft to build a team unless Kevin Durant or LeBron James are calling to sign with your team in free agency. This almost seems like an excuse to not be aggressive in free agency.
  • No long-term deals? How about Zach LaVine and Cristiano Felicio?
  • Paxson said that if the rebuild doesn’t work he’ll probably get fired. But he also said that the Bulls are way too early in the process to be judged but he’s happy with where the team is at right now.

Khalil Mack to the Bulls?

Tank correctly, get the first pick, draft Zion Williamson, sign Khalil Mack. Franchise saved. Who is stopping those two from creating a layup line on every possession?

God, I should stop giving out this elite, high-level advice for free.