Deng did not play in the Bulls' Game 6 loss to the Nets on Thursday after getting a spinal tap to test for viral meningitis the night before the game. The Bulls were still holding out hope that he would be able to play in Game 7, but he was unable to travel with the team.
Deng took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to explain his illness after being questioned by fans. He has been battling injuries all season, including a wrist injury that dates back to last season. The Bulls' small forward has really struggled with his shot in the series against the Nets, shooting just 1-of-18 from three-point land.
Like Game 6, Jimmy Butler is sure to get the start at small forward while Marco Belinelli starts at shooting guard. Butler had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds in the Game 6 loss. Belinelli had 22 points and seven assists.