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Bulls vs. Heat in Eastern Conference semifinals

The Chicago Bulls face off against the Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.

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Bulls-Heat Playoff Series: Game 2 tonight

The Chicago Bulls are gunning for another big upset against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in game two of their playoff series.

The Bulls surprisingly won game one in Miami 93-86.

Tip-off is at 6pm.

The Bulls insist Derek Rose will not return tonight. The team also says Kirk Hinrich is walking better on his bruised left calf, but is doubtful for the game. Luol Deng is still in Chicago recovering from complications from a spinal tap and won’t play either.

Bulls Forward/Guard Jimmy Butler will try to keep LeBron James in check again tonight.

“Fun I guess. Fun and challenging. This is what you want. Going up against the best. Prove that you can hang, that you can compete,” said Butler.

The Chicago Bulls arrive to American Airlines Arena for practice before Game 2 against Miami Heat.

The Bulls outrebounded Miami by 14 in Game 1, they hope to continue that trend Wednesday in Game 2.

You can place Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich in sharp-looking suits on the bench. You can keep Luol Deng in Chicago as he recovers from a spinal tap.

Carlos Boozer can be largely ineffective, Nate Robinson can leave briefly with a bloody lip that needed stitches to close and Marco Belinelli’s jumper can be AWOL.

But as long as the Bulls have five bodies left, the competitive culture that Tom Thibodeau has instilled and his players execute will lead to what happened Monday night at American Airlines Arena.

The Bulls grabbed Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals, downing a Heat team that had won 41 of its previous 43 games 93-86. And they shouted to the mountaintops one more time for anyone who stopped listening: They’re not going away quietly.

Read More At Chicago Tribune

By K.C. Johnson, Tribune reporter

Luol Deng and Derrick Rose will miss at least Game 1 of the Chicago Bulls’ Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Heat and Kirk Hinrich is doubtful, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.

Deng, who has been in and out of the hospital after experiencing complications from a spinal tap administered to check for viral meningitis, remains in Chicago. And Thibodeau said it’s uncertain when — and if — Deng will fly here at all.

“We’re taking it day-by-day,” Thibodeau said.

That puts Deng’s availability for Wednesday’s Game 2 in serious jeopardy as well. And even though Rose still won’t say publicly that he’s out for the season, that’s the assumption under which the organization long has operated.

“It’s no pressure at all,” Rose said. “I haven’t had any pressure from anyone. Not in the organization, not from my teammates. They know I’m putting everything I have on trying to come back as fast as possible. Just trying to be smart with the whole situation. Just taking my time.”

Hinrich didn’t take the floor for the start of the Bulls’ morning shootaround, receiving treatment on his severely bruised left calf in the training room. He tested the injury before Saturday’s Game 7 victory over the Nets and didn’t move well at all.

“It’s slow, steady progress,” Thibodeau said. “But he’s still not there.”

Deng is out of the hospital. Without him, the Bulls likely will put Jimmy Butler on LeBron James. That means Marco Belinelli likely wo;; guard Dwyane Wade.

“Lu is a very important part of the team, sort of the glue of our team,” Thibodeau said. “That being said, he has missed games during the series. He missed games in the last series. We have more than enough to get it done. That’s what we have to do.

“He had a spinal tap. So he’s been sick, still not feeling as well as he would like. He’s gone back to the hospital to get tested more, more treatment. I spoke to him this morning and he’s feeling a little better.”

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

By K.C. Johnson, Tribune reporter4:20 p.m. CDT, May 5, 2013

MIAMI — Luol Deng is expected to be back with his teammates by tipoff Monday night. Whether he plays in Game 1 of the Bulls-Heat Eastern Conference semifinals remains questionable at best.

“He’s day-to-day,” coach Tom Thibodeau said late Saturday in New York.

Deng was released from Rush University Medical Center on Saturday afternoon and was tentatively scheduled to fly here Sunday night. The Bulls took Sunday off, gathering for a team meeting and film session at a downtown hotel.

Deng’s imminent travel will cap a harrowing four days for the two-time All-Star, who underwent a spinal tap for viral meningitis that came back negative but caused complications that forced further hospitilization. Sources told the Tribune Deng needed a “blood patch” to stop spinal fluid leakage that was causing Deng intense migrane headaches and disorientation.

The procedure involved injecting some of Deng’s own blood into the damaged area so that the spinal tap puncture could heal naturally, one source said.

Deng, who had used his Twitter account to defend people who said he missed Games 6 and 7 of the Nets’ series because of the flu, used the same social media forum following the Bulls’ closeout road victory.

“So (expletive) proud of my team, it’s been a rough 4 days for me but this makes everything better. See you guys in miami. #SeeRed”

According to two people who spoke to Deng, his headaches have mostly subsided but his back remains sore and he remains somewhat groggy. If Deng can’t start Game 1 against LeBron James, which is likely, Marco Belinelli is expected to get the nod.

Belinelli scored a career-playoff-high 24 points in the Game 7 victory over the Nets.

Eastern Conference

Miami vs. Chicago

Game 1 – Mon  May   6   Chicago at Miami                 6:00PM     TNT
Game 2 – Wed  May   8   Chicago at Miami                 6:00PM     TNT
Game 3 – Fri  May   10  Miami at Chicago                 7:00PM      ESPN
Game 4 – Mon  May   13  Miami at Chicago                 6:00PM    TNT
Game 5 * Wed  May   15  Chicago at Miami                 TBD            TNT
Game 6 * Fri  May   17  Miami at Chicago                 TBD            ESPN
Game 7 * Sun  May   19  Chicago at Miami                 TBD          TNT