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.