ATLANTA — Mike Dunleavy Jr. got the Luol Deng treatment in Tuesday night’s 107-103 Bulls’ win over the Hawks at Philips Arena.
Dunleavy played all but nine seconds of the contest, recording 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the absence of the injured Jimmy Butler.
“I mean, not when I first came here, but when the season’s unfolding, you just never know,” Dunleavy replied, when asked if he ever expected to be in that type of situation when he signed with the Bulls last summer. “You’ve got to be prepared for everything.
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“I appreciate Thibs giving me that nine-second breather at the end of the half. That made a big difference,” he quipped. “But when you’re doing it, you don’t think about it. You just kind of go, keep playing and be able to bounce back tomorrow.”
Hinrich downplays Teague incident
Kirk Hinrich and former teammate Jeff Teague got into toward the end of the Bulls’ win, when Teague gave Hinrich a hard foul that the veteran deemed to be unnecessary. The veteran floor general’s teammates gave him a hard time about it in the Bulls’ locker room.
“That’s what you were waiting to ask me this whole time?” Hinrich joked when a reporter asked him about it. “You take a shot like that, it’s just a natural reaction.”
Teague, of course, is the older brother of former Bulls point guard Marquis Teague, who was traded to Brooklyn last month. In the Hawks’ last game against the Bulls in Chicago, Teague delivered a hard foul on sixth man Taj Gibson. Hinrich played with Teague during his stint in Atlanta and coincidentally, his injury prior to the Hawks’ 2011 second-round playoff series against the Bulls gave him an opportunity to start at point guard.
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Bulls prepared for Golden State
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau expects his team’s opponent Wednesday night at the United Center to play with a similar approach to what they just faced in Atlanta. After losing to Golden State in Oakland earlier this month, on their six-game Western Conference road trip, the coach is readying his team for another attempted three-point barrage by All-Star point guard Stephen Curry, but is also concerned about the Warriors’ inside game and overall depth.
“They test you the same way [as Atlanta]. They have the great shooting. They’re tough in transition. Jermaine O’Neal’s playing well. Bogut’s back. I don’t know if David Lee plays in the game, but their depth is off the chart. You look at Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and then Iguodala,” Thibodeau said. “And then you go to their bench, picking up Blake was huge for them. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green. So I think the quality of their depth — Marreese Speights — so when they go to their bench, there’s not a drop-off. We’ve got to play for 48 minutes against them.”
Hinrich added: “We played them recently and that’s the thing, they’re a tough guard. They’ve got Steph running the show, guys who can just really shoot it and we have to be in tune to it, and do our best to make them really earn it.