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No limitations for Deng as Bulls host Jazz
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Mar 9
By Adam Fluck
Luol Deng will play against the Jazz and Tuesday night at the United Center after missing Monday’s practice with the flu. Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro said that no limitations were set for him, though the team’s staff would keep an eye on his conditioning as the game progressed.
“He’s better today,” said Del Negro. “He was pretty sick [Monday]. He went through shootaround and felt better. We’ll monitor that throughout the game. If he’s feeling well, he’ll stay out there. If he’s a little sluggish and needs a break, he’ll get it.”
The matchup at point guard is an intriguing one, with former Fighting Illini star Deron Williams going head-to-head with Chicago’s Derrick Rose.
Over his last six games, Rose is averaging 28.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, and 2.7 rpg in 39.2 mpg. Rose is also shooting .552 from the field and .821 from the charity stripe over that stretch.
“Both point guards have great size and great athletic ability,” said Del Negro of Rose and Williams. “Deron probably shoots the ball with better range right now, but Derrick probably gets to the rim a little better. They’re both two of the top point guards in the league, there’s no question about it.
“Deron plays with a system and other players that are suitable to that style right now,” he added. “We’re still a young team trying to find our way a little bit and build around Derrick as we move forward.”
The Bulls have won three of their last four games against the Jazz and swept the season series (2-0) last season for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.
Earlier this season, Utah defeated Chicago 105-86 behind Carlos Boozer’s 28 points and eight rebounds. Last season, Rose averaged 24.5 ppg, 6.0 apg and 3.0 rpg against the Jazz, while Mehmet Okur (24.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg) and Paul Millsap (21.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg) both averaged double-doubles for the Jazz.
Hunter takes on a new role subbing for Wennington
Former player turned basketball operations assistant Lindsey Hunter took on a new role on Tuesday as he filled in for Bill Wennington as color commentator on the Bulls radio network. Wennington missed Tuesday’s game to watch his son Robbie’s Loyola Academy take on top-seeded Glenbrook North at the Niles West Sectional.
Sloan at home in Utah
The legendary Jerry Sloan, currently the longest tenured head coach in the NBA and winner of 1,177 games in his career, spoke about player and coach relations and how he’s managed to maintain his position with the Jazz since the 1988-89 season.
“There are a lot better coaches that I am who have gotten fired. I know that for a fact,” said Sloan. “Our ownership has been supportive. When you all get a little rough on coaches, a lot of people cave in. Our owners never caved in.”
When asked how he has dealt with situations in which his relationship with a player or players had taken a turn for the worse, Sloan remarked: “I tell my players, ‘I’m going to be here and you may not.’”
Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on the matchup of Derrick Rose and Deron Williams, Utah’s system and his keys to beating the Jazz (03.09.10):