Already beginning the season without All-Star Derrick Rose, the teams point-guard depth suffered another potential hit during Tuesday nights game against the Thunder at the United Center. Veteran Kirk Hinrich strained his right groin in the second quarter of the contest didnt return to the game.
I spoke to Fred Tedeschi, the teams athletic trainer at halftime. He said he tweaked something, said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. I dont know how serious it is. If he needs time, hell get time. If he doesnt, hell play in the next game.
Hinrich missed last Tuesdays win over the Bucks with a right-thumb injury. In his absence, backup Nate Robinson started the second half and seldom-used rookie Marquis Teague also saw minutes at point guard.
I thought Nate played well. In the second half, he was trying to run our offense, said Thibodeau. Teague has done a good job. Hes practicing well. Hes learning the game, the NBA game. Hes learning his teammates. Each day, hes gotten better, so if hes called upon, I expect him to play well.
Even if the injury is minor and Hinrich was sidelined for precautionary reasons, his injury highlighted just how fragile the Bulls depth at the position is. Thibodeau, however, is confident that even if Hinrich was sidelined for an extended period of time, his next man up philosophy, which has worked for the better part of his tenure in Chicago, will allow the team to ride out the storm.
Thats part of the game, he explained. Everybody in that room is capable of playing and playing well, and were going to need everyone over the course of the season, so I expect when theyre called upon, to be ready and get the job done.