Bulls getting healthy. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters on Monday that Luol Deng (groin) and Rip Hamilton (too old) would be back in uniform tonight after sitting out Saturday's ugly 82-75 loss to the Wolves. Marco Belinelli and former Marquette star Jimmy Butler started at the wing spots in Minnesota, with Butler going the distance (yes, 48 minutes) for the short-handed Bulls. Keep that in mind the next time you're worrying about the Bucks' guard depth.
Bigger test. As ugly as the Bulls' loss on Saturday was, Scott Skiles knows the Bulls are "a different animal" compared to teams like the Cavaliers and Pistons. But whether that plays out on Tuesday is unclear: Derrick Rose (torn ACL) will be out until at least early next year, Chicago completely rebuilt their bench over the summer (is that a good thing?), and they're not exactly firing on all cylinders right now (22 turnovers per game in preseason thus far). But they don't need Rose to play the best defense in the league, which is exactly what they've done over the past two seasons (2nd in 11/12 and 1st in 10/11). And that's precisely why it's difficult to imagine the Rose-less Bulls falling off the map without him.
If it ain't broke... Bucks fans should have few complaints from the team's first two preseason games: good defense, ball movement and energy have helped Skiles' bunch cruise to a pair of easy victories, with six men scoring in double figures in both games. While Monta Ellis' shooting has been a bit crooked, Brandon Jennings has played well and virtually everyone has had their moments: Larry Sanders and Marquis Daniels particularly in game one, Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson in game two.
On some level it's not surprising: the longer rotations typical in the preseason will naturally tend to favor a deeper team like the Bucks, though that shouldn't serve to dissuade you from feeling good about the Bucks through 96 minutes of unofficial basketball. All the usual positive camp talk about good chemistry and practicing well is translating onto the court so far, and that's about all you can hope for at this point.
Bucks' new tagline. The Bucks' launched their new marketing campaign on Monday: "Your Ticket to Amazing." And like every tagline, it will sound good if the Bucks win 45 games and be the target of ridicule if they win 33.
Game Thread. Programming note: one hour before tip-off (6 pm CT) we will publish a "game thread" specifically for comments during the game. We'll publish it at the top of the front page and add a link in this story as well--join us! UPDATE: Here is your game thread link.