Richard Hamilton played just 26 minutes in game one, but he made pretty efficient use of his time. Rip scored 19 points on seven shots, which is nearly three points a shot as Sixers coach Doug Collins noted.
"He's got that championship experience. He knows where to get on the floor. You can give Rip that."
With Derrick Rose out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Hamilton will have to add about 20 more minutes to his playing time from here on out, going from being a complimentary player to a main attraction. And he can do it--Rip is a veteran of the postseason. Before joining the Bulls, the former Piston played in 120 playoff games, averaging 20.6 points per game. Hamilton has said his experience can help the team in different situations. This is the most crucial of situations now that the reigning MVP is out of commission.
Hamilton is battle tested, and despite his own struggle with injuries this season, he will have to prove durable for the duration of the postseason, which includes increased playing time.
"I can play a lot longer, but Thibs does a great job of managing everybody's minutes," said Hamilton regarding his 26 minutes. "The game got away a little bit in the fourth quarter. I think we were up around 14 so there was no need for me to be playing."
Now there is every reason to be playing.
Derrick Rose's absence presents a huge void that no one player can fill, but Hamilton will have to try. The guard certainly picked up the slack in the early going of game. When Rose was struggling with his shot, going 1-for-7 from the field, Rip dropped in 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting. He's the only other player besides Rose who can create on offense and dish out the assists. Rip's passing game is equally as valuable as his ability to score.
Yes, CJ Watson will take over for Rose as the backup point guard, but it will be Rip Hamilton who will have to fill No. 1's shoes.
According to TMZ Sports, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash over Calabasas Sunday morning.
Shortly afterwards, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs confirmed the crash:
ABC 7 News and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski both later confirmed the report that Bryant was among those that perished:
Bryant played 20 years in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships, two MVPs and appearing in 15 All-Star games. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters.
The story appears to still be developing, but this is heartbreaking and stunning news for the basketball world at large, and, above all, Bryant's family.
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Patrick Finley at the 2020 Pro Bowl and offered a glowing review of Bears quarterback coach, John DeFilippo, whose addition to Chicago's coaching staff is expected to bring the best out of Mitch Trubisky, the Bears' incumbent starter who's entering a make-or-break offseason with the team.
“He’ll be outstanding,” Cousins said. “He’s a great coach. He’s been around this league for a long time. I think it says a lot when someone like Matt Nagy, who knows quarterbacks so well, hires him. I think that says a lot about ‘Flip.’
“When you look at what he did with Carson Wentz as a young player, I think there’s a lot to like there. And he’s going to add a lot to that staff. It’s going to be to my detriment, because we’re in his division. But he’s a great coach.”
DeFilippo was the Eagles quarterback coach for two seasons (2016-17) and played an integral part in Wentz's development between his rookie and second seasons. Under his DeFilippo's tutelage, Wentz went from enjoying a solid rookie season to an MVP-worthy campaign in 2017. It's also noteworthy that DeFilippo managed to get the best out of veteran Nick Foles, who replaced Wentz after a season-ending injury. Foles went on to enjoy a miraculous Super Bowl run.
DeFilippo certainly has his work cut out for him with Trubisky. The former second-overall pick has looked like an average starter (at best) through 41 regular-season starts and regressed mightily in 2019. Blame for his regression has been shared among the offensive line and play-calling, but he deserves much of the criticism too. His mechanics were sloppy, his accuracy was lacking and he just didn't play with the kind of downfield killer instinct Nagy wants from his starter.
Nagy's end-of-year comments about Trubisky needing to learn how to identify coverages didn't create much confidence in his near-term trajectory, either.
But that's why DeFilippo is in town. And if Cousins' comments prove to be true, then we may be on the precipice of a breakout season from Trubisky.
Or maybe DeFilippo will be the tie-breaking voice that allows the Bears to move on if Trubisky's struggles continue.