The Chicago Bulls face a critical game four on Monday night in Chicago against the Miami Heat. The Bulls have fought valiantly, but they trail the Heat 2-1 in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. They need a victory on Monday night to even up the series and to give them a realistic chance at possibly knocking off the Heat.
Chicago has been in an uphill battle for most of the postseason. They have obviously and notably been without their star point guard, Derrick Rose, but the injuries don’t stop there. Joakim Noah is battling through plantar fasciitis and Kirk Hinrich has been out with a calf injury. Luol Deng has also missed five of their 10 playoff games with complications from a spinal tap.
Deng has proven himself to be a warrior over the past few years, leading the league in minutes or at least being close to the top. He has played through a variety of ailments over that time as well, weathering through strains and contusions. However, he has never experienced anything as serious as he is right now.
Deng was just recently released from the hospital and has reportedly lost 15 pounds over the last two weeks, which shows just how sick he has been. Yet he is still somehow listed as day-to-day, though he isn’t going to play on Monday night. That shouldn’t be his status, though; Deng should be listed as out for the rest of the postseason.
Losing that much weight in that short amount of time is indicative of at least a semi-serious illness and one that shouldn’t be taken likely. Though Deng is a tough player that likes to prove himself, he has no business being on the court. The Bulls would like him to be back because they need his defense and reliable offense, but his future as a player and with the team is more important. Let him rest and recover.