Previous ArticlesBulls not so cavalier against Cleveland
Hinrich providing a steady presence for Chicago
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Nov 13
Though he’s improving, Derrick Rose was held out of Wednesday’s practice to rehab a right hamstring injury suffered during Monday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Chicago’s first back-to-back set of the season coming up with on Friday in Toronto before returning home to host the Pacers on Saturday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said no determination has been made yet about if or when Rose will play.
“We’re going to see where he is,” said Thibodeau. “If he can play, he’ll play. If he can’t, he’ll sit. We’re taking it day-by-day.”
Rose was evaluated on Tuesday and did not undergo an MRI because the nature of the injury is considered to be minor.
“He said he was feeling a lot better and he’s moving a lot better,” said Thibodeau.
For the second time in two weeks, Chicago has three off days in between games. This one comes at an especially opportune time given Rose’s status.
“Sometimes the schedule is going against you; sometimes it’s in your favor,” said Thibodeau. “I think the fact that we have a three-day break, which is a little unusual, is good. We want to maximize getting work and rest in. It’s been an opportunity for us to get some extra practice time in, which we did. And Derrick needed rest, so it’s good for him.”
If Rose isn’t able to face the Raptors, Thibodeau expressed confidence in backup guard Kirk Hinrich, along with the versatility and flexibility that comes with the veteran’s game.
“That’s the great value of having a guy like Kirk,” said Thibodeau. “The fact that he can start at the point or he can start at the two; he can come off [the bench] at the point or come off at the two. He handles all those things extremely well. Some players are not very good coming off the bench; some players are not very good starting. He has shown he can do both of those things extremely well. It’s a big plus for our team.”
Thibodeau also said he likes what he’s seen out of a Hinrich and Rose pairing in the backcourt.
“They’ve played very well together,” said Thibodeau of Hinrich and Rose. “They play off each other extremely well. It allows Derrick to get off the ball some and it gives our opponent a different look. They’re used to Derrick off the dribble and now he’s catch and shoot, and Kirk can do both. It’s a big plus.”
Bulls forward/center Taj Gibson, used to playing with Hinrich as part of the team’s bench, also sees the value that he brings to the court.
“So much knowledge, so much patience,” said Gibson of Hinrich, who is averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 24.0 minutes. “[He’s] not shy about taking a big shot. It’s great to have him out there on the second unit because he just knows so much and he is never panicking. He gets guys in the right spots at the right time and always has a head up. He’s always cheering guys, and that’s what we need.”
HINRICH OWNING BRAGGING RIGHTS AS OF LATE
Several Bulls players attended Tuesday’s Champions Classic at the United Center as four of the top five collegiate teams in the nation squared off in a double header.
In the night’s second contest, Kirk Hinrich’s fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks outplayed Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Mike Dunleavy’s fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils for a 94-83 victory. All four players, in addition to Thibodeau, Gar Forman and John Paxson, among others, were on hand.
So, Gibson was asked, did Hinrich let his Duke teammates hear about it on Wednesday?
“He didn’t really go too hard on them,” laughed Gibson. “He’s so cocky when it comes to his school, so he’ll sit in the corner and be nonchalant. He always thinks he doesn’t have to say much because he knows Kansas is going to win.
“Lately he’s been on a hot streak,” added Gibson of Hinrich. “His Kansas City Chiefs are winning and his Kansas Jayhawks have been winning. He’s just the man in the locker room.”
Audio—Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau meets the media following practice (11.13.2013):
Audio—Bulls forward Taj Gibson on Kirk Hinich’s value and the team’s bench (11.13.2013):