Bulls notes: Hamilton's minutes remain limited

931343.png

Bulls notes: Hamilton's minutes remain limited

BOSTON Rip Hamilton scored 13 of his 15 points in the third quarter of the Bulls Wednesday-night overtime win in Toronto. However, despite having the hot hand, the veteran shooting guard, who also finished with five assists on the evening, didnt return to the game, even as the Raptors made a run to send the contest into an extra session and backup Marco Belinelli struggled, missing clutch free throws and shots from the field late.

I thought Rip was terrific, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau explained. Rip made a lot of good plays for us. He knocked some shots down, but his playmaking was terrific.

I did, he continued, when asked if he considered reinsertng Hamilton, before explaining the rationale behind ruling against it. Because Im watching his minutes.

Hamilton, who played 18 minutes in the contest, acknowledged that fact afterwards, adding: But I know it coming into the game.

Noah: Rose will add new dimension to Bulls

Asked about the Bulls excellent ball movement as of late and how it could be affected by the eventual return of Derrick Rose unlike any player on the Bulls current roster, with the exception of backup point guard Nate Robinson, the former league MVP is known for his ability to create off the dribble Joakim Noah had an insightful response.

I think that Derrick deserves to hold the ball a little bit more, but I think hes going to add a whole different dimension to what we already have, the center, whos picked up some of the ballhandling duties during the point guards absence. Hes somebody who demands a lot of attention, so when he comes, its going to free up a lot of things for us.

Celtics Garnett, Rondo named All-Star starters

Friday night, the Bulls will take on the Celtics, who feature two players who were announced as 2013 NBA All-Star Game starters Thursday evening, point guard Rajon Rondo and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

The latter is debatable, due to not only stiff competition among big men in the Eastern Conference though the leagues new frontcourt designation muddles things a bit but also the seventh-place Celtics record.

Still, while the likes of New Yorks Tyson Chandler and the Bulls Joakim Noah could stake claim to being the top center in the East, Garnett, who finished his high-school career at Farragut Career Academy on the West Side of Chicago, still has a major impact on the game defensively and while he isnt Bostons top offensive option, his mere presence makes him an important facilitator for the Celtics.

In the case of Rondo, he clearly benefits from the absence of Rose on the ballot, as the Bulls point guard, when healthy, can be penciled in as an All-Star starter before the season even starts.

Still, with counterparts like Brooklyns Deron Williams having an uneven campaign and emerging second-year star Kyrie Irving of Cleveland on a woeful Cavaliers team not to mention floor generals such as Milwaukees Brandon Jennings and Philadelphias Jrue Holiday playing in near-anonymity Rondo is head and shoulders above other players at his position in the East this season.

Knicks' Shumpert makes season debut

Oak Park, Ill., native Iman Shumpert, a second-year guard for New York, started for the Knicks' in the team's Thursday-afternoon win over the Pistons in London.

The athletic, defensive-minded Shumpert played 15 minutes and scored eight points in the game, his first since tearing his ACL last April 28, the same day Rose suffered his injury.

Shumpert reportedly had surgery to repair his torn knee ligament 10 days before Rose, who was advised to wait until the swelling subsided.

Bulls suspend Rajon Rondo after another 'bump in the road' for embattled veteran

Bulls suspend Rajon Rondo after another 'bump in the road' for embattled veteran

The Rajon Rondo file has another suspension to the ledger, as he was suspended by the Bulls for one game for “conduct detrimental to the team” and will miss Monday night’s game against the Portland Trailblazers.

It’s the seventh incident in the past few years for Rondo where he’s been suspended by the NBA or the team he’s played for, which of course brings up queries as to the event in question.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg wouldn’t elaborate on what took place, only that he met with Rondo Sunday and that the two are on the same page. Saturday night, the Bulls lost in blowout fashion to the Dallas Mavericks, Rondo’s former team.

“He and I met yesterday, had a good meeting. He’ll meet us at the plane tonight,” Hoiberg said. “He’ll be back in uniform tomorrow night against Detroit and moving forward. As far as details guys, I’m not going to get in the details of it. We’re going to move past it, and again he’ll be back in uniform tomorrow.”

Hoiberg shut down every question about Rondo, only saying it wasn’t a physical altercation with any players or members of the coaching staff. With Rondo’s history of situations, Hoiberg said he understood the line of questioning but tried to walk the line of supporting the player as well.

“Sure, I understand that,” Hoiberg said. “But I’ll say this, Rajon, as we’ve all said, has been great. A great teammate. I’ve enjoyed the relationship that we developed, and again it’s not going to change moving forward.”

Rondo is averaging 8.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.7 rebounds in 17 games, and is coming off a poor showing against Dallas, where he had five turnovers and just two points, two rebounds and two assists.

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

The Bulls play the Pistons Tuesday to complete their four games in five nights stretch, and Jerian Grant will start in Rondo’s place.

“(Rondo’s) been great. I think this is just another bump in the road,” said Jimmy Butler, who also wouldn’t elaborate on what led to the suspension. “He's a phenomenal damn teammate and I back him on everything.”

When asked whether he agreed with the organizational decision to suspend Rondo, Butler said: “It's not my job to agree or disagree.”

Butler positioned himself as a big Rondo backer Monday in speaking to the media, as the two were together for an NBA Cares event with Robin Lopez.

“I don't feel his reputation fits him at all. Rondo's an incredible basketball player, friend, brother to me now, to us,” Butler said. “I think we love him here. I think the fans love him as well, the organization, I think everyone has nothing but great things to say about him. I don't see where that reputation came from at all.”

Butler wouldn’t even admit to being disappointed about the situation, choosing to stay out of the fray and not issue any controversial statements.

“Nope. Not at all. These things happen, and when things happen you handle it the way you're supposed to handle it,” Butler said. “I think we all love Rondo. I know I do. He's been a great mentor to me, he's made me a much better basketball player. We've got to go out and get one tonight.”

Bulls hand Rajon Rondo one-game suspension

Bulls hand Rajon Rondo one-game suspension

The Bulls are suspending Rajon Rondo for one game.

The organization sent out a press release Monday morning with the announcement their point guard would miss Monday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers for conduct detrimental to the team.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Rondon had a "heated exchange" with a Bulls coach after Saturday's 107-82 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas.

Rondo's history is littered with behavioral issues. 

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

He was suspended by the NBA one game almost exactly a year ago for using a "derogatory and offensive term towards an official" as a member of the Sacramento Kings.

Rondo is averaging 8.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game this season in 17 contests.