In comes one Bulls player who was injured, out goes another.
After missing the team’s last four games with a sore left Achilles’, All-Star small forward Luol Deng will return to the Bulls’ lineup in Saturday night’s game against the Raptors at the United Center. Unfortunately, starting point guard Kirk Hinrich will miss the contest.
“It’s his back,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who eventually decided to start second-year point guard Marquis Teague against Toronto. “He just said it stiffened up on him. Hopefully it won’t be anything that lasts long.”
While the coach said he was pleased with new acquisition D.J. Augustin's play in his Bulls debut, Friday night's win at Milwaukee, the point guard won't yet be entrusted with running the team's complete offense.
“I want to keep it basic right now,” Thibodeau said of Augustin's duties, thus giving Teague the nod.
Ironically, Augustin’s first Bulls game in Chicago will be against his former team. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was complimentary about his former backup point guard, who lost minutes in Toronto’s rotation to reserves Julyan Stone and Dwight Buycks.
“We had a gluttony of point guards. Kyle Lowry’s getting a lot of minutes. We had a couple of young kids giving us something that D.J. didn’t have. I thought Julyan Stone gave us defense, [Dwight] Buycks gave us speed and quickness and athleticism, and D.J. gave us outstanding shooting. He’s a great kid, great shooter. But we needed other things from that position. It’s nothing he did wrong, but just his skill set at that time. He came into training camp, did a great job. But we just needed a different type of point guard because we had three guys that were the same body size. But I thought Julyan Stone at that time, until he got injured a week ago, gave us that,” Casey explained. “Everybody needs a shooter. We need a shooter. If we needed shooting, he’d be the guy. But he fits their need, as far as, from what I understand, as a shooter. It’s up to Thibs to integrate him in and find out how he fits with their team.”