Bulls veteran point guard Kirk Hinrichs performance in Monday nights 95-83 home win over the Lakers was like a blast from the past, back in the old Captain Kirk days.
Hinrich isnt viewed as much of a scorer these days, as his primary role on offense is being a facilitator, as well as making opposing floor generals work hard on the other end of the floor. But every once in a while, the Kansas product shows that hes still capable and while it helped that he was guarded by the defensively-deficient Steve Nash, Hinrich rose to the occasion, scoring a season-high 22 points, the high total in the contest, on 9-for-11 shooting, as well as dishing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds.
Just hit a couple early and we played a lot of pick-and-roll in the second half, and I would come off screens and get some good looks, Its been a while. Its more like about time. Just had it going. We felt like that was our advantage. We could put them into pick-and-rolls in the second half and get the ball hopping, and obviously, we did a good job, he said in typically modest fashion, before explaining why he doesnt look to score more on a regular basis.
I think that injuries and its kind of an afterthought for me all year. Im trying to run the team and do my job, and I got a few more looks than I normally do tonight. The pick-and-rolls, I was able to come off clean and let it go.
Every games different and I think you have to have the feel of the game. A lot of games, it seems like early in the games, we have guys who have it going, the Iowa native continued.
I feel like its my obligation as a point guard to make sure the ball gets there and especially with Luol out tonight, we needed a little bit extra. It just happened to kind of be me.
While Hinrich downplayed his night, his teammates were ecstatic for the veteran.
Im very happy for Kirk because I know how bad he wanted it. We worked so much together this summer and to see Cap have a game like that in such a big game, it was huge, Joakim Noah said.
When Kirk plays like that, were very, very hard to beat because not only is he a great floor general, but when hes putting the ball in the basket like that and making playsbecause you know defensively, hes one of the best in the leagueits all positive.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has championed Hinrichs contributions to the team all season and Monday, while it was more obvious, was no exception to the rule, according to the coach.
Hinrich has really played well all year, in terms of running the team and his defense is always outstanding. I felt it was just a matter of time until he starts knocking shots down and hes played very well for us all season long, he explained.
I think its important for him to shoot the open shots and I think sometimes, he gets so caught up in running the team that he sometimes passes up the open shot and when you dont take the open shot, sometimes what it leads to is taking a guarded shot, so I liked his aggressiveness. I thought his reads were very, very good and Nate, as well. I thought the two of them played a very efficient game.