Kirk Hinrich makes good 'first' impression with Bulls
During a timeout in the first half of the Bulls' preseason win over Memphis on Tuesday, a video tribute to Kirk Hinrich played on the United Center scoreboard.
It was probably similar to the one that played when Hinrich first returned to Chicago as a visiting player two years ago. Now it was a "welcome back" montage and Hinrich wasn't given an opportunity to veto the video.
"No, they probably knew what my answer would have been," Hinrich said with a laugh. "It was a little weird, but I was just trying to focus on what I had to do. I'm still finding a comfort level."
Hinrich is new to coach Tom Thibodeau's system, but he made it work against the Grizzlies. With 7 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals, Hinrich helped push the Bulls toward 12 fastb0reak points during a dominant third quarter.
He and Richard Hamilton seemed to click in the backcourt. Hamilton complemented Hinrich's defense with 13 points in 20 minutes of action.
"Kirk knows how to play, man," Hamilton said. "He really makes my job easy. When I run the floor, he tries to get the ball to me early, so I can try to make a play myself or for one of my teammates."
Strong first impression:
Nazr Mohammed had a successful Bulls debut, producing 13 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes against Memphis.
After the game, Mohammed, a 14-year NBA veteran playing in his hometown for the first time, said he was unhappy with some defensive mistakes he made. Overall, though, he's enjoyed his first few weeks with the Bulls.
"I love our team. We've got some great guys," Mohammed said. "It's a joy to come into work. There's not one guy who doesn't like (someone) on the team. Everybody kind of gets along and everyone has a hard-hat mentality — come in, play hard, play hard defense and it's a reflection of our coaches."
Brothers at guard:
It didn't last long, but Memphis guard Tony Allen enjoyed getting to share the court at the United Center with his younger brother Ryan, a training camp invite for the Bulls. The brothers, who grew up on the West side, guarded each other for the final minute of the first half.
"I told him he should play off me and guard the shooter, but he wasn't listening," Tony joked after the game. "It was special to be out there against him. I'm sure Mom was teared up, but if she was, they were tears of joy. It was nice to see all that Chi-town talent out here, with Nazr (Mohammed) and Derrick out there."
Well, Derrick Rose wasn't out there Tuesday, but we get the idea. Rose and Ryan Allen were AAU teammates in junior high and remain close friends.
Noah back after loss:
Center Joakim Noah produced 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists on Tuesday, despite missing three days of practice to be with his family following the death of his grandmother.
"I had a really long week last week," Noah said after the game. "It was very hard losing my grandmother. She's the one who introduced me to the sport of basketball. She was the first basketball player in my family. She played on the Cameroon national team. So even playing for that national team, for France, it's all for her. It was very, very hard, but I'm happy to be back and playing basketball."
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