Although the Bulls still won’t rule out a return by point guard Derrick Rose, it became clear Thursday that forward Luol Deng and guard Kirk Hinrich aren’t close to being recovered from their ailments.
Deng, who had a bad reaction to a spinal tap, said Thursday he has lost 15 pounds during the ordeal.
“I’m weak,” he said. “When I’m moving around, my headaches increase. I want to play, but I don’t know what I can do. I haven’t done anything. I tried to shoot a little bit, and I couldn’t.”
Hinrich underwent a second MRI on his bruised calf, and coach Tom Thibodeau said his condition is “not great.”
Thibodeau said Rose’s status has not changed, but neither he nor Rose specifically addressed a Hoopsworld report, or speculation on TNT, that he might be in uniform Friday.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he discussed Rose with his team Thursday, and Rose’s return could give the Bulls “a real emotional boost.”
The NBA said Thursday no decisions have been made regarding any discipline stemming from personal fouls, technical fouls or ejections in Game 2.
Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected in the fourth quarter for complaining vociferously to referee Scott Foster.
Gibson cursed at Foster, then said afterward, “I should have conducted myself in a better way.”
Noah said he also deserved to be ejected.
But a couple of Bulls players suggested their anger was justified, even though the final foul count (27 for the Bulls, 24 for the Heat) wasn’t lopsided.
“Some of the calls we didn’t feel were fair,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. “If you feel like you’re being cheated, you’re going to say something about it.”
Bulls guard Nate Robinson said of Noah and Gibson: “They are not robots. They have feelings. I don’t blame them.”
But Spoelstra said he wishes point guard Mario Chalmers had not mentioned “cheap shots” after the game.
“I would rather him not say anything about it,” Spoelstra said. “Physical basketball is to be expected. We’re not going to make any complaints to the league on the officiating.”
Chalmers was quoted in The Palm Beach Post as saying: “We got guys that are going to get cheap shots every night — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and [ Chris Bosh]. Us, we want to get a cheap shot back.”
James said with how the game has changed, “what happened last night was the equivalent of a couple guys getting punched in the face in the 1980s.”
This and that
• Chalmers was pleased with his Game 2 defensive work against Robinson, who shot 3 for 10 and had more turnovers (four) than assists (two).
“It was personal for me just for the fact that I let my man score that many points,” Chalmers said. “My mind-set was just to cut off the head of the team.”
Chalmers also surpassed Tim Hardaway to become the franchise leader in three-pointers in the playoffs. He has 82 on 231 attempts.
• Heat president Pat Riley finished fifth in voting for NBA Executive of the Year. Denver’s Masai Ujiri won it.
• Wade said he is regaining his rhythm after missing a game with a knee injury: “I felt better second quarter on. It’s coming.”
• Bosh said the Heat draws motivation from critics who say they aren’t as effective in a physical game.
“We’re good at every game,” he said. “We’re good at the slow, grind-it-out pace. We’re good at fast break. We’re good at everything. … This is the perfect team for us to play.”
• For all of the praise Jimmy Butler received for his defense on James in Game 1, James is now shooting 12 for 18 in this series when defended by the second-year Marquette player.
The Heat’s 55 bench points in Game 2 were its most ever in a playoff game. … Ray Allen has made all 25 of his free-throw attempts this postseason. … Chris Andersen is shooting 80 percent (16 for 20) in the playoffs.