Bulls advance without Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich

The Chicago Bulls were without two starters for yesterday’s deciding Game 7, but they received an awesome performance from another ailing star to defeat the Brooklyn Nets and advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

Prior to Game 7, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich were ruled out for the contest. Deng is recovering from a spinal tap and a severe case of viral flu, while Hinrich continues to be hampered by a significant calf injury. Chicago was picked up by a strong performance by Joakim Noah, who’s battling an injury of his own.

After the game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters – including ESPN Chicago – that he’s not sure if either player will be ready to suit up for Game 1 of the second round.

"(They're) day to day," Thibodeau said. "We know how good Miami is so we're going to have to be at our best, playing great basketball. They're a very deep team, extremely well coached, very well balanced. So we're going to have to be at our best right from the start."

Deng was forced to miss Game 6 after he received a spinal tap to test for meningitis. He returned to the emergency room Friday and was considered doubtful to suit up for yesterday’s contest. He ultimately returned home, as he was in no shape to play in Game 7.

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