Preps Talk

Hamilton responds to heckler's 'old' comment with scoring barrage

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Hamilton responds to heckler's 'old' comment with scoring barrage

CLEVELAND Rip Hamilton was content to be a facilitator in Fridays night thrashing of the Cavaliers. But when the Bulls veteran shooting guard heard a heckler disparage him because of his age, he had to respond.
Early in the game, I was just trying to set the table. Luol had it going, Booz had it going and it was just one of those things where youre like, You know what? It might not be my night to go ahead and score, but just to try to get other guys involved, he recounted afterwards. In the third quarter, I just tried to be a little bit more aggressive and guys did a great job of finding me.
And some dude in the crowd called me old. Thats what woke me up, Hamilton continued, to the laughs of the assembled media. He called me Old Man River, some dude behind me. So, I was like, All right, I got something for you.
Instead of engaging with the fan, Hamilton scored 14 of his 19 points in the period, on 7-for-8 shooting from the field. It was a performance that impressed his teammates.
A blind man could have seen that Hamilton was hot. They could just keep hearing his name from the arena PA announcer, Rip Hamilton, Rip Hamilton. He got us going, Nate Robinson said. Thats what we need from each guy. We knew Rip had the hot hand, guys moving, hes still making passes. Guys making easy shots, were getting stops on the defensive end. Thats what got our offense going.
Added Carlos Boozer: Whew! He was on fire. Listen: Rip, I know hes 35 (actually, 34), everyone wants to talk about hes Old Man River and all that. Hes still one of the quickest dudes on the planet, in the league and every time he comes off screens, it doesnt matter where he is, if his feet are set, if his feet arent set, if hes moving in the air, he hits those shots. So, we just kept feeding him. Thats how we are; were going to feed the hot hand. He was on fire in the third. It was great for us, too, because we had a little bit of a lull.
As remarkable as Hamiltons scoring was, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was also complimentary of his unselfishness. Hamilton only had two of the Bulls 34 assists, but his passing was a major part of the teams crisp ball movement.
The one thing about Rip is Rip is going to hit the open man also. If hes open coming off the screen, hes going to shoot. But if the second defender is there, hes never going to take a tough shot like that, Thibodeau said. Hes always going to hit the open man and thats the mark of a winning player. A primary scorer has the responsibility of making the right play.

30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

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30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

School: Maine West

Head coach: Jason Kradman

Assistant Coaches: Steve Piha, Mike Smith, Russ Swenson, Dan Wilson, Mike O'Brill, Matt Boswell, Tony Manicke, Ryan Willett, Trent Greco, Rashad Daviston, Joe Duszynski

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (2-3 Central Suburban North Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th vs Streamwood

September 1st @ Larkin

September 8th vs Buffalo Grove

September 15th @ Wheeling

September 22nd @ Glenbrook North

September 29th vs Maine East

October 6th @ Vernon Hills

October 13th @ Highland Park

October 20th vs Deerfield

Biggest storyline: Can Maine West become playoff eligible in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior TE Matt Kentgen Senior DL Walter Hutt

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will need to reload on both sides of the football with just 7 starters back (3 offense 4 defense) this fall. .

EDGY's Early Take: Maine West is looking to continue to take positive steps forward after just missing out on a five win season in 2016. Look for the Warriors to get the football into the hands of senior TE Matt Kentgen as much as possible and if the underclassmen can develop West could again challenge for a state playoff slot in 2017.

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