Despite the Bulls’ 92-98 win to begin their preseason, there were plenty of ups and downs. One positive thing was the return of Kirk Hinrich.
Hinrich started alongside his former teammates Luol Deng and Joakim Noah as well as Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer. He looked very comfortable playing and worked well with them.
“[Kirk] really, really makes my job easy,” Hamilton said. “When I run up the floor he tries to get me the ball early so I can try to make a play for myself or one of my teammates.”
Hinrich ended the night with 5 points, 7 assists, 1 rebound, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He made sure he did more than just work on the offensive end but on the defensive side as well.
“[Kirk is a] very, very good defensive player,” Boozer said of Hinrich. “It seemed like he had three or four steals right away in that third quarter, it got us going in transition a little bit. (He) has a great feel for the game.”
Hinrich’s defense was a major factor in the third quarter. He used his lockdown defense and translated it into offense, sparking the Bulls’ 32-point quarter.
If it were not for Hinrich’s big third quarter, the Bulls would not have had the game they did. This is not to take away from the contributions of other Bulls, but without Hinrich’s key defensive plays, their 16-point lead would have ceased to exist. Tom Thibodeau has put so much emphasis on defense as head coach, and Hinrich is the perfect example of why he has done so. This makes his addition to the Bulls a natural fit. It does not hurt that he is fitting well with the starters either. He has made his impact evident early on, and it seems as if he never left. With immediate chemistry and an effortless transition into Thibodeau’s system, Hinrich has the opportunity to make his presence well-known and appreciated in Chicago yet again.
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