The Chicago Bulls on Monday were finally able to avenge the loss they had to the Charlotte Bobcats earlier in the season. Even though the final score of the game may have been too close for comfort, the Bulls prevailed over the Bobcats with a 93 to 85 victory over the team owned by Michael Jordan.
Luol Deng returned to the starting lineup for the Bulls after missing the previous five games. With Deng returning, that signaled that second year player Jimmy Butler would move back into a reserved role. Butler impressed during Deng’s absence, so much so that some speculated that the two could be on the court at the same time once Deng returned. Butler played 31 minutes against the Bobcats on Monday and led the team with a career-high 19 points. Deng also played 31 minutes in his return on Monday and scored 12 points. Joakim Noah recorded another double-double by scoring 13 points and collecting 18 rebounds. Carlos Boozer scored 13 points while Kirk Hinrich added 8 points, and Richard Hamilton scored 2 points. Nate Robinson shot 50 percent from the field on Monday while scoring 15 points in 26 minutes.
For the Bobcats, point guard Kemba Walker was their top offensive performer. Walker scored 18 points while compiling 6 assists. A couple of former Bulls also returned to the United Center on Monday as Tyrus Thomas failed to score in his 7 minutes of playing time while shooting guard Ben Gordon scored 18 points in 28 minutes.
Speculation continued to center around Derrick Rose on Monday as the rehabbing point guard spent nearly an hour taking shots before the Bulls played the Bobcats. Rose is expected to return to full practice at some point in the near future, potentially as soon as this week.
The next game for the Bulls is on Wednesday as the team goes on the road to face the Milwaukee Bucks.