In just a two-week time span D.J. Augustin has gone from playing back-up with the Toronto Raptors to being in the starting line-up and getting big time minutes with the Chicago Bulls at the PG position. Adjusting to a huge change in such a short time is no walk in the park, and after Saturday night’s grueling game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Augustin went the long haul playing 46 minutes (nearly the entire game) in the Bulls 100-84 home win at the United Center.
It’s hard,” Augustin admitted after scoring 18 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds. “Your body’s not ready for that
Augustin is no Derrick Rose, but he’s certainly not to shabby! Any guy willing to play almost the entire game for his team needs some respect. Since Rose went down Nov. 22 with another injury (torn right medial meniscus) upon signing Augustin you could tell the Bulls were struggling at the point guard position and needed a guy to come in at their rescue. That’s what Augustin has been for this Bulls team since he came aboard, something like a glimmer of hope. Kirk Hinrich who has been battling back stiffness is still not in game-ready shape and Marquis Teague quite frankly is just not playing well, with all the troubles at the PG position I would say Augustin came through in the nick of time!
Though the minutes seem to be quite demanding of Augustin, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is pleased with the impact his starting PG has made since coming aboard:
He’s been great, just the way he plays,” Thibodeau said. “He plays with a lot of poise. There’s a good pace to him. He knows how to read things really well. He reads when guys are coming off screens and being defended. He has the ability to pass on time and on target. He has guys in rhythm.
It’s been known not to be easy playing for a coach like Thibodeau (should it ever really be easy, your in the NBA for goodness sakes!), but Augustin doesn’t seem to mind the challenges that comes with being coached by one of the best coaches in the league:
I played for Larry Brown (in Charlotte) my first three years and he was pretty tough,” Augustin said. “So I feel like I can handle it. He’s only trying to make me better, not bring me down, and it’s really helping me.
Augustin may not be a superhero, but he sure is giving Bulls fans something to cheer about.