A handful of tidbits from Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro before tipoff Friday night at the TD Garden:
Rose still limited: Point guard Derrick Rose, who missed three weeks with an ankle tendon injury, played 33 minutes in the Bulls' season opener on Thursday and might not play quite that much against the Celtics on Friday. (Rose averaged 37 minutes per game during the regular season a year ago and 44.7 minutes per game in the Bulls' marathon first-round series against the Celtics.)
Del Negro left himself some leeway, though.
"I'd like to keep him around 30," he said, "but let's see how the flow of the game goes and see how he feels. As he gets loose, he feels good. He got a little fatigued from a conditioning standpoint at the end [Thursday] night."
New look in the paint: The Celtics, of course, didn't have Kevin Garnett available in the playoffs a year ago, opening up the paint a little bit for Joakim Noah (10.1 points, 13.1 rebounds in seven games) and Tyrus Thomas (9.6 points, 6.3 rebounds). No such luck this time around.
"With Garnett back, they're a different team," Del Negro said. "Everyone knows that."
For Chicago, too: Paul Pierce, meanwhile, scored at least 20 points in six of the seven playoff games against the Bulls, but he didn't have to deal with Luol Deng, whose length has made him a tough matchup for Pierce. Deng missed the playoffs with a stress fracture in his right leg but is expected to start on Friday. How he deals with Pierce might be one of the key subplots of the game.
Deng had 17 points and nine rebounds against the Spurs on Thursday.
"He's long, and he gives us more size," Del Negro said. "Last year, obviously, we didn't have as much length or depth or versatility as we have now. We'll try to use that to our advantage. Having Luol back has been a big factor for us."
Alarming development: The Bulls had to deal with a 4 a.m. fire alarm at their hotel Friday morning. It probably would have been more annoying, though, if they'd gotten to their hotel earlier than 3 or 3:30 a.m. They weren't exactly in the middle of a deep sleep at that point.
"We got plenty of sleep and had a late walk-through, so it was fine," Del Negro said.