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posted: 10/19/2012 12:01 AM

Thibodeau sees good in Robinson's flashy pass

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Nate Robinson made an accurate prediction after Tuesday's victory over Milwaukee.

The Bulls' backup point guard didn't think coach Tom Thibodeau would be happy with Robinson bouncing a fastbreak, alley-oop pass off the backboard to Jimmy Butler.

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Turns out, he was right. Thibodeau shared his reaction Thursday at the Berto Center.

"I'll say this: Obviously, I didn't like the play," Thibodeau said. "I liked the unselfishness, though, and I told him that. I like the fact that he saw Jimmy coming down and wanted to drop it off to him.

"Other than that play, I thought (Robinson) did a lot of good things for us. I just want him to channel that the right way. I want him to make winning basketball plays. And I want that to be first and foremost. I think it's important to respect the game."

Robinson started in place of Kirk Hinrich on Tuesday and played extremely well, delivering 24 points and 13 assists with no turnovers.

The alley-oop off the backboard was perfect, with Butler finishing a two-hand slam. Robinson said his goal was to get the fans and his teammates fired up.

"I think the plays that unite and inspire your team are winning plays," Thibodeau said. "I thought he made a lot of winning plays in the game. I thought the intention was right. He was unselfish. He saw Jimmy coming -- turn around, drop it off and let him lay it in."

Another slow starter:

Nate Robinson came alive Tuesday, but another Bulls newcomer continued to struggle. Shooting guard Marco Belinelli is averaging 5.5 points in the preseason, while shooting just 30.4 percent from the field.

Coach Tom Thibodeau after Thursday's talked about his expectations for Belinelli after Thursday's practice.

"I think Marco has to realize that he doesn't just have to shoot well," Thibodeau said. "He could have a game in which he doesn't shoot well, but he's capable of helping us in a lot of other areas. I thought he made some good plays off the dribble in the Milwaukee game. I want him to be a complete player so we can count on him."

Bull horns:

Kirk Hinrich went through practice with his right thumb taped, but coach Tom Thibodeau expects Hinrich to play Friday against Minnesota. After practice, Hinrich took extra shots at the same basket as Derrick Rose.

The Bulls released center Kyrylo Fesenko on Thursday, leaving 15 players in camp. Taj Gibson was high scorer at the Bulls' annual bowling party for team sponsors.

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