Bulls notes: Hinrich hurt, matchup with Deng looms

Bulls notes: Hinrich hurt, matchup with Deng looms
January 20, 2014, 11:45 pm
Share This Post
Mark Strotman

The Chicago Bulls might be desperately thin at point guard if the hamstring injury Kirk Hinrich suffered Monday night is serious.

Hinrich suffered a strained hamstring in the second quarter of the Bulls' thrilling 102-100 overtime win over the Lakers. He did not return, finishing with four points and three assists in 19 minutes. And while his replacement, D.J. Augustin, had his best game in a Bulls uniform with 27 points, a pair of clutch shots and four assists, Tom Thibodeau's group would be down to one healthy point guard if Hinrich misses time.

That's because the trade sending Marquis Teague to the Nets reportedly will become official tomorrow. The Bulls likely would have to bring in a second point guard behind Augustin, but Thibodeau said he couldn't comment on the situation because he isn't sure of Hinrich's status.

"The one advantage that we do have is we can run the offense through different people, and so we have the option to go big," Thibodeau said. "We have the option to add somebody, so we may do that. I don’t want to speculate and jump to conclusions, if Kirk is out I’m sure John (Paxson) and Gar (Forman) are going to have people that we can bring in. We’ll wait until tomorrow."

Veteran Mike James might be a player of interest. James was released in December to make room for Augustin.

[MORE: Gibson's layup saves day for Bulls in game that nearly got away]

Bulls preparing to face Luol Deng for first time

On Wednesday, for the first time in his career, Luol Deng will play against the Chicago Bulls.

And as odd as it will be for Thibodeau to have to game-plan around one of his favorite players, he understands that once the clock starts running it will be all business between the Cavaliers and Bulls.

"I know how fearsome a competitor (Deng) is, so I know he’s going to try to beat us, we’re going to try to beat him, and then after the game we’re going to visit," Thibodeau said. "I have a lot of respect for him, all the things he did for us, me personally. But friendship aside, we’re coming up there, we’re going to be ready."

In five games with the Cavs, Deng is averaging 18.4 points on 48-percent shooting, four rebounds and two assists. Cleveland is 4-3 since it traded for Deng, and 3-3 in games Deng has played in.