The Bulls have struggled since Rajon Rondo suffered a thumb injury in Game 2 in the best-of-seven series and sat out the past two games, both Chicago losses.
Rondo was without his cast Monday during a day off, but coach Fred Hoiberg ruled Rondo out for Game 5. However, there is a chance that Rondo, who also is dealing with a wrist injury, could return for Game 6 after he initially said he'd be out several weeks.
Canaan will be making his first start after shooting 36.4 percent from the field and 26.6 percent from 3-point range during the regular season. He also is not considered a great defender.
"His wrist tendon has quieted down a little bit," Hoiberg said Monday. "So just decided to remove the cast. He's still in a splint for his thumb."
Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams were unable to get the job done at the point in place of Rondo in Games 3 and 4. Canaan was the Bulls' only effective point guard in Game 4, finishing with 13 points in 34 minutes.
Grant and Carter-Williams have combined to make just 6 of 28 shots from the field and they committed nine turnovers in the past two games.
In the first two games, Rondo had a combined 23 points, 20 assists, 17 rebounds, seven steals and four turnovers.
The rest of the Bulls' lineup knows it needs to help offset the loss of Rondo and not put it all on Canaan.
"Obviously with Rondo going down, the ball's going to be a lot more in my hands," said Chicago's Dwyane Wade, who had 11 points in Game 4. "But I talked to coach about it, there were a couple opportunities where I could have been more aggressive. Some of it is on me.
"I have to figure out a way to, certain times, be more aggressive than I was last game. And I'll figure it out. I've been playing a long time, so I'll leave it up to myself to figure it out."