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Kirk Hinrich out for Bulls in Game 5 Monday night

Kirk Hinrich

Chicago Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich (12) celebrates a 3-point basket against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half in Game 4 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)


Kirk Hinrich has been a key reason the Chicago Bulls have a 3-1 lead over the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round playoff series.

After a Game 1 Nets win where Deron Williams did pretty much as he pleased against the Bulls defense (22 points on 9-of-15 shooting), coach Tom Thibodeau switched Hinrich onto Williams and the veteran guard made D-Will’s life difficult. In Game 2, Williams had 8 points. Game 3 it was 18 on 14 shots. And while in Game 4 Williams had 32 points and 10 assists, he shot just 11-of-25 and had 7 turnovers.

But Hinrich has a bruised calf and when the Bulls showed up for shootaround Hinrich was there, but…

With him out look for Nate Robinson to get the start and you will see a lot more of Marco Belinelli, Jimmy Butler and Rip Hamilton.

The bigger concern is the long term — if the Bulls are without Hinrich for Game 6 and, if it gets there, a Game 7, this could alter the series dramatically.