The Bulls begin a critical stretch of basketball in which they'll play five of seven on the road, beginning tomorrow night in Detroit.
And they may be shorthanded in the backcourt as they begin that journey.
Both Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo sat out Sunday's practice at the Advocate Center. Head coach Fred Hoiberg said Wade suffered a thigh injury in the 101-91 loss, while Rondo skipped practice after rolling his ankle after stepping on Doc Rivers' foot late in the third quarter. Both players are gametime decisions.
The time off may be good for Wade, who struggled Saturday night with 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting in 33 minutes against the Clippers. His points have decreased in each of the five games since the All-Star break.
Rondo hasn't started since December but has played the best among the Bulls five point guards, registering 9.0 points on 48 percent shooting, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 24 minutes over his last 10 games. Hoiberg said the Bulls have given some consideration to starting Rondo again over Jerian Grant, but for now "we'll go the way that we have been going tomorrow and just continue to evaluate it."
Should Rondo miss Monday's game it would give the Bulls an extended look at both Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne. The second-year point guards struggled Saturday against the Clippers, each managing just two points on a combined 2-for-8 shooting in 21 minutes.
If Wade can't suit up against the Pistons, who sit in the No. 8 seed and one game back of the Bulls in the East, sixth man Paul Zipser would see more time. The German rookie has been a revelation for the Bulls, especially considering the struggles first-round pick Denzel Valentine has had.
After missing the previous seven games Zipser has averaged 9.5 points on 8-for-11 shooting in his last two games. His stingy defense and late 3-pointer helped the Bulls close out the Warriors on Thursday, and that closing role is something the 23-year-old is embracing in his first season.
"Everybody wants to be on the court when it counts. It's big. I can't deny that," he said after practice. "I really enojy it and I appreciate it. I try to help the team. That's all I can do."
The Bulls are comfortably in the No. 7 spot in the East, with basketball-reference giving them a 79.9 percent chance of making the postseason.
But they have seven games against teams with winning records, plus Detroit twice and a surging Bucks team that sits just 1.5 games out of the No. 8 seed.
They'll need all the help they can get, and Zipser and the young point guards may be called upon when the Bulls take the floor in the Motor City on Monday.