Monday night's game between the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets will be one step forward for Chicago, but will also come with one step back. According to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, Derrick Rose is expected to be back for the Bulls, but in response, Chicago is leaning towards holding out Luol Deng, who injured his wrist this past weekend vs. the Charlotte Bobcats. As for the rest of the Bulls infirmary, back up PG John Lucas is also expected back, while Joakim Noah will be a game-time decision and Taj Gibson will not play.
If Rose is indeed back Monday night, he'll face a stiff first test in going up against Nets point guard Deron Williams. Williams has been a bit cold so far this season, shooting only 37% from the field, but he's still putting up 18 points and eight assists a game, and his use of the pick-and-roll will test Rose's mobility as he comes back from turf toe. The Bulls backcourt will also be tested by rookie MarShon Brooks, who has made waves around the league so far this year in averaging 15 points a game on 46% shooting off the Nets bench.
Game date/time: Monday, January 23, 2012, 7:00 p.m. CST
Location: United Center, Chicago, Ill.
Radio: ESPN 1000 AM
Odds: Bulls favored by 14
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