Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau went with somewhat of a platoon system at point guard Saturday night to compensate for the absence of veteran floor general Kirk Hinrich, who missed the 99-77 loss to the Raptors at the United Center.
Second-year point guard Marquis Teague got the start, playing the entire first and third quarters, and going for seven points, three assists, two steals and oddly enough, three blocked shots in 28 minutes of play. Newcomer D.J. Augustin made his Chicago debut—the sixth-year veteran played in his first Bulls game in the team’s win Friday at Milwaukee—played all of the second quarter and started the fourth, going for five points and six assists in almost 20 minutes of action.
“You’re limited because D.J. doesn’t know the offense, so you’re trying to minimize your turnovers. You want to try to get a good shot and then you’ve got everyone readjusting again. I thought Marquis did a good job, thought he competed,” Thibodeau explained. “The thing is, I knew that we would be restricted, in terms of what we could run with D.J. and so, Marquis, I thought gave us our best chance of being able to get to everything that we wanted to do offensively.”
Teague, who was informed that he’d get the start by Thibodeau earlier in the day—before the game, the coach claimed he was “undecided” about the decision—said he tried to keep things simple.
“Try to run the team, just pressure the ball on defense and give a lot of energy,” the 20-year-old said. “Just keep preparing every day, come in the gym, work hard and just playing together. We’ve got to get a lot of defensive stops. We’re losing guys every day. You’ve always got to play great on the defensive end.
“They made some tough shots. We couldn’t get any stops when we needed them down the stretch. That’s what hurt us,” he added. “That’s how the NBA works. You’ve always got to be ready. You never know what’s going to happen.
“I’m comfortable any time I get on the floor. I know all my teammates, I know how they play, I know where they like to get the ball and I know the offense.”
For Augustin, the experience was a little different, simply because he was playing his old team, Toronto, just days after being waived by the Raptors.
“Yeah, it was strange,” he said. “But it was fun to see those guys and I talked to them before the game.
“[The Bulls are] a great organization, great team,” Augustin continued, when asked about his decision to sign with the Bulls. “I wanted to be a part of it and when they reached out to me, I didn’t want to look any further, so it was a great opportunity for me.”