WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chicago Bulls All-Star forward Luol Deng will miss his fifth consecutive game because of a right hamstring injury. Second year swingman Jimmy Butler will start in his place once again on Saturday night against the Washington Wizards. Deng warmed up before the game with assistant coach Ron Adams but Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau decided against playing him. Butler has played very well in Deng's absence, averaging over 15 points and eight rebounds a game over his last five outings while playing over 40 minutes a night.
Before the game, Thibodeau chafed at the suggestion that Butler would play a little more once Deng returns from injury because of his recent solid play.
"We always had trust (in Butler)," Thibodeau said. "And I don't necessarily agree with the emergence. Jimmy's played well when he's played and we expect that from everybody on the team when somebody's asked to step up and do more, be ready, and get the job done. That's not just a Jimmy thing, when Marco (Belinelli) stepped up and started for us he did the same thing. So everybody who is on the roster has to stay ready and whenever they're called upon get the job done. That's what I expect from everyone on the roster."
Thibodeau was noncommittal about using Deng and Butler together on the floor more when Deng returns.
"If the situation calls for it, yep," Thibodeau said.