The Bulls were led by the efforts of Boozer, Bellinelli, and Noah as they tried to match the athletic Clippers and gut out a 4th win out of the last 5. And they probably could have won the game too, but Kirk Hinrich plays for them.
Well, what about his backup?
Nate Robinson, once again, showed that he is a better player, and tonight in 10 fewer minutes. Kirk did match up against Chris Paul, one of the league's premier point guards, but so what? Eric Bledsoe is a starter playing a backup role, and Nate also locked up against CP3 several times. It wasn't until towards the end, with Hinrich on him, that CP3 start racking up points (finishing with 18).
But we all know how Thibodeau likes to do it. Just ask Ronnie Brewer when he assumed a backup role for an entire season despite being a far superior all around player to Keith Bogans. He's now a starter on a top NBA team in New York.
However, this is the position that the Bulls cannot afford to continue relying on Kirk Hinrich. Turning 32 just after the new year, Kirk looks slow, uncreative, unable to create space or get in the lane like he once did..Pretty much un-NBA point guard-like.
He's also unable to start the offense, which mostly goes through the front-court, in the first quarter, forcing the Bulls to start slow and play from behind often times. It is critical to have a player in the lineup that can get by his man to open up the floor and allow big guys to get to the rim...That player right now is Nate Robinson.
So the Chicago Bulls continue to play tough despite their best player being out for a few more weeks? months? In the meantime, coach Thibodeau and the Bulls need to trim the fat and that fat is Kirk Hinrich.