Bulls prepare for Robinson's return

DEERFIELD -- The Chicago Bulls’ final preseason game Friday won’t be of the run-of-the-mill variety, especially since they will be opposed by Nate Robinson, who now plays for the Denver Nuggets.

The diminutive Robinson came up huge for the Bulls last season as Derrick Rose was out with a knee injury. When Kirk Hinrich was also dealing with leg issues during the playoffs, Robinson delivered with his patented offense-first approach.

The highlight for Robinson came in the first round of the playoffs when his 34 points led the Bulls to a triple-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Chicago erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit on a run sparked by Robinson, who had 23 in the final period alone.

“He had a big year for us,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We were in an unusual situation. He came in, provided a spark for our team and did a good job.”

Bulls guard Jimmy Butler could be Robinson’s biggest fan.

“That’s my guy,” Butler said. “I think we’re going to dinner tonight, actually, so I get to see my man.”

Robinson is expected to play Friday despite some recent hamstring issues. But even if he isn’t on the court, the Bulls know that he will make his presence felt.

“You know it’s coming,” Butler said of Robinson’s tendency to chatter nonstop during games.

Butler will try to get in his own trash talk.

“I don’t even know if he’s playing, but I’ll have to yell to him on the bench,” Butler said.