Tom Thibodeau mentioned switching up the starting lineup after losing to Houston, but backed off those thoughts and is keeping the lineup intact. While Hinrich has frustrated Bulls fans with poor play, it's the right decision.
Sure Kirk Hinrich has been a train wreck, and I don't think that's been a big surprise to many Bulls fans whom thought he was overrated and not worth the signing anyway. That said, I think it's fair to say that thus far he's disappointed even his detractors with his poor play. Still, benching him isn't likely to help much.
The core problem? Kirk's already benched during fourth quarters anyway. When the game's decided, Kirk has been on the bench virtually all season. The Bulls starters aren't regularly getting run out of the gym. Nor is Chicago losing games in the first eight minutes by building up massive deficits they can't overcome.
In the end, Nate Robinson has been considerably better than Hinrich. He probably deserves to start based on performance. However, the fit with the roster says something different.
The problem? Kirk playing with the bench is a recipe for disaster. Robinson at least gives the bench some type of scoring punch while Kirk's 30% shooting is surrounded by better scorers in the starting lineup. In general, Kirk has moved the ball more fairly effectively and found guys shots.
Kirk playing with a group of guys who are looking to take shots fits what little talent he still has to bring to the table and actually minimizes the talents that Nate Robinson brings to the table. Yes, Robinson has been better. Yes, Robinson should close games. However, Kirk's relatively far more valuable with the starters and Robinson is far more valuable with the less scoring oriented bench players.
Both players will lose a little bit of relative value by swapping their roles. What the Bulls should do is limit Kirk's minutes as much as possible while increasing Nate's role. However, both players are better suited to the positions they're presently in than switching things around.