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updated: 12/19/2011 10:35 PM

Thibodeau undecided, but Bulls players anxious for Hamilton to play

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Even though having Richard Hamilton make his Bulls debut in front of the home fans Tuesday seems to be a logical step, coach Tom Thibodeau chose not to make it official when he met with reporters Monday.

"We'll see how the shootaround goes tomorrow, then we'll make a decision," Thibodeau said. "I just want to make sure he's ready to go. He's moving along well and he's in pretty good shape."

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Hamilton has had four practices with his new team, including the shootaround before the preseason opener at Indiana. There will be another shootaround Tuesday morning before the rematch with the Pacers at the United Center.

So he figures to play. In the meantime, some of Hamilton's new teammates described his contributions in practice.

"Rip has been great," forward Luol Deng said. "You can just tell, 13 years in the league, guy who's been with teams that had great seasons. His experience is going to pay off.

"The great thing is, every practice he's been early. He's been practicing really hard. You can just tell, he's not here just to join us. He's here because he knows he can help us. It's really good to see that."

Added Joakim Noah: "I think he's going to be great for us. He's somebody who can score the ball; somebody's who's played in a lot of big ball games. He's a warrior."

Long time from home:

The Bulls held a rare United Center practice Monday, then hosted a gathering for season-ticket holders. The evening event did not include a team scrimmage.

Most of the players hadn't been on their home court since suffering a painful loss to Miami in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"It's been awhile," Luol Deng said. "The last time we walked off here, we lost. That's the memory we have right now, so we can't wait to get back on our home court.

"We're not happy with what happened last year. A lot of people comment that we won 62 games, but we think we can go further and do better. We all believe that, so we're all committed to what we've got to do this year."

Better check twice:

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on whether he has to be careful not to cram too much information into the abbreviated training camp.

"You're not moving like you normally would," he said. "When you start camp, you're thinking about what you need to have in for your first game. So each day you're adding those things so you can get to that point. Then once the season starts, you'll continue to add. You want to make sure on the 25th, you have enough in where you can play in a game."

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