Bulls

Rose, Noah could return vs. Nets; Deng possibly out

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Rose, Noah could return vs. Nets; Deng possibly out

Here's the good news: Derrick Rose could return to the Bulls lineup Monday, according to a source familiar with the situation. After missing four consecutive games with a turf-toe injury, the league's reigning MVP plans to play when the Bulls host the Nets.

Center Joakim Noah, who missed Saturday's home win over the Bobcats with a sprained left ankle could also return and is expected to be a game-time decision, as first reported by the Chicago Tribune. Noah was a late scratch Saturday after suffering the injury in Friday's win at Cleveland.

Reserve point guard John Lucas III told CSNChicago.com after Saturday's win, which he missed because of a strained left groin, that he expects to play Monday.

Now, the bad news. Ironman small forward Luol Deng, who was third in the NBA in minutes played last season and participated in all 82 regular-season contests, might not be available. Deng, who suffered a sprained left wrist Saturday -- he had an MRI Sunday, but said after Saturday's game that the x-rays were "fine," though he wore an ice pack in the locker room -- told CSNChicago.com via text message late Sunday night that he believed he could miss Monday's game.

Additionally, backup power forward Taj Gibson, who suffered a high left ankle sprain in Cleveland and missed Saturday's win, could continue to miss action. A person familiar with the situation told CSNChicago.com that Gibson's swelling remained significant Sunday.

Despite the injuries to Noah and Gibson, however, another source familiar with the Bulls' thought process told CSNChicago.com Sunday that the injuries to the big men are not "serious" and expects them to return "soon," so it's unlikely that the team will sign a free-agent post player in the meantime, as the list of available big men isn't considered very appealing.

With Gibson and potentially Deng out, expect veteran reserve forward Brian Scalabrine, a fan favorite, to log more minutes Monday against New Jersey.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the Phoenix Suns Sunday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. Something's got to give

What's the opposite of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object? That's what we'll be looking at when the Bulls have the ball in their hands. Chicago ranks dead last in offensive efficiency, while the Suns have the 2nd worst defensive efficiency in the NBA. That means the Bulls, after scoring a season-high 123 points against the Hornets, can build on that momentum against a Suns defense that allowed 90 points in the FIRST HALF to the Rockets on Thursday.

2. Kris Dunn for real?

Fresh off the best game of his young career - he scored 22 points in a win over the Hornets on Friday - Kris Dunn continues to look like the best point guard on the Bulls roster. He's going through a really solid stretch right now, averaging 13.2 points on 47 percent shooting, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals over his last four games. With Eric Bledsoe out of Phoenix, Dunn could be in line for another big game going up against Mike James and Tyler Ulis, regardless of whether or not he starts over Jerian Grant.

3. Watch out for Devin Booker

We'll try to get an opponent in here once for every tune-in, and Devin Booker certainly fits the bill. Much like Dunn is doing, Booker is on quite a roll these days. Over his last four games Booker is averaging 30.5 points on 51 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. The Bulls will need to keep their eyes on Booker at all times, especially after allowing Kemba Walker to go off for 47 points on Friday.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.