PARIS --- The Chicago Bulls’ trip to “The City of Light” is already off to a bright start.
DeMar DeRozan said following Monday’s brief workout at the Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan that he plans to play Thursday against the Detroit Pistons after missing the last three games with a right quad strain. Coach Billy Donovan said DeRozan participated in the team's brief workout, which came after they flew through the night from Chicago and bussed directly from the airport.
The Bulls are 1-2 in their leading scorer’s absence, snapping an overall game skid on Sunday behind Nikola Vucevic’s career-high-tying 43 points in a home victory over the Golden State Warriors.
DeRozan left the Jan. 9 competitive road loss to the Boston Celtics in the third quarter when he suffered the injury. It happened when he slipped---DeRozan thought he got tripped---while making a move on the Celtics’ Al Horford.
Postgame in Boston, DeRozan downplayed the injury. And the Bulls made clear throughout DeRozan’s first three missed games of the season that the injury wasn’t considered serious, that they were just being cautious so that he didn’t re-aggravate the strain.
“You get a different perspective when you are sitting back and watching from afar,” DeRozan said. “We were just having too many lapses here and there, whether defensively or offensively, that put us in a hole and made it so tough for us to get back in a lot of games. And we’re still right there.
“My mindset is to this next half of the season and understanding those moments and being a lot better and emphasizing that so it don’t linger throughout four or five minutes in a quarter of a game.”