Bulls

Hamilton feels good after heavy workload vs. Washington

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Hamilton feels good after heavy workload vs. Washington

Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng in the lineup on Monday, Richard Hamilton was poised for extended minutes. Hamilton played 34 minutes in Mondays loss to the Wizards, scoring 22 points on 9 of 20 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists. It was his most action since playing 36 minutes on Jan. 29 against Miami.

It was cool just to be out there, said Hamilton. I wanted to win, thats the biggest result at the end for me, but it was good to be out there playing in the second and fourth quarter.

Since returning to the lineup after missing 14 games with an injured right shoulder, hes averaging just 20.7 minutes per game.

Both he and head coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledge that they want to be smart with playing time and gradually build it up. But with five games remaining, the veteran shooting guard is ready for more.

Like Ive said, I think I can play the whole game, Hamilton said, smiling. Tonight was the first time that we really tested it over that 20 minutes limit, but I felt good especially on a back-to-back, so it was a good sign.

With Rose and Dengs status for Wednesdays game against the Charlotte Bobcats being uncertain, Thibodeau is pleased with what hes seen from the veteran shooting guard, who could be in line for another heavy workload.

The other guys have been together for a long time, said Thibodeau about the team still adjusting to what Hamilton brings. I think Rip is feeling really good. His lower body is great, so that part is good. The more they play together, the better they will be. Hes shown that hes a very good player moving without the ball, catch-and-shoot situations, running the floor and unselfish. Hes missed a lot of time, so hes still coming around with his timing and I think that will get better as time goes on.

Hamilton even admitted that he wants to take the brace off of his injured shoulder soon, but with as much time as hes missed already -- and only five games left until the playoffs - he wants to be cautious.

Hopefully I can take it off, he said. I dont want it on. Im still shooting a lot of my shots short. I want to take it off now, but its one of those things where if I take it off and it gets hit again and something happens, its bad. I think Ill take it off soon, though."

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: