MIAMI -- Typically, Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng are as much a fixture on the court as the baselines.
That changed dramatically Tuesday night, when both players were severely limited by foul trouble. Deng sat the entire second quarter and played just 29 minutes, 28 seconds. Butler logged just 5:55 in the first half and 29:55 overall.
"We're two of the best perimeter defenders on this team," Butler said. "When we're not out there controlling the likes of LeBron (James) or Dwyane Wade, I feel like they gain confidence."
Deng said official Joey Crawford admitted he missed Deng's first foul, one of three in the first quarter. His fourth, a charge early in the third, sidelined him for most of that quarter.
"I really thought I just posted up," Deng said. "I didn't even see (the defender) in order to hit him.
"I didn't do a good job of handling it. I had no rhythm. I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be after that. I really felt my foul trouble affected us in the second quarter. Normally I play with the second unit. That second quarter was awful on our part."
The Bulls were outscored 37-18 in the second.
Deadline day: The Bulls have until Thursday night to exercise the third-year option on point guard Marquis Teague. While typically a formality for first-round picks, management continues to mull the decision. Previously, the Bulls checked his tepid trade value around the league.
Teague's $1.12 million option is only about $250,000 more than a league-minimum deal. So the decision isn't tied to a fear of the repeater tax, which the Bulls will avoid.
Collectively bargained during the lockout that delayed the start of the 2011-12 season, the repeater tax is strongly punitive on teams over the luxury-tax threshold for three straight or four of five seasons. The Bulls will be a tax team for the second straight season after this one and will be roughly $8 million over the $71.7 million tax line this time, triggering a penalty of $1.75 for every $1 over.
Star power: As usual, these rivals didn't exchange pregame handshakes other than Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer bumping quick fists with Chris Bosh. But James said he's "happy" for Derrick Rose's return.
"It's great for the league," James said. "He looked like Derrick Rose in the preseason. He's an unbelievable talent. I'm happy that he's healthy."
Memory lane: Tuesday marked the second time in franchise history the Bulls endured an opponent's ring ceremony. The last time came in 2006 in the same building when the Bulls crushed the Heat 108-66 behind Kirk Hinrich's unlikely 26 points. It's the largest opening-night defeat for a defending champion in NBA history.
"It was so long ago," Hinrich said when asked for memories. "But I remember we were a young team highly motivated to try to prove ourselves. I remember we played great. Everything went well for us."
Hinrich signed a five-year, $47.5 million extension that day.
Layups: In classic Tom Thibodeau fashion, the Bulls watched film during the Heat's ring ceremony. ... Rose, on the Heat using blocking pads to prepare for the Bulls' physical style: "That's kind of crazy. I don't think we're going to foul them like that. If they go to the hole, of course we're going to hit them. But I don't think it's going to be anything like football."
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