The Bulls couldn't finish off a fourth-quarter comeback against Boston on Monday, but the box score spoke well for rookie guard Marquis Teague, who played the entire final quarter.
Boston's Rajon Rondo had 20 points through three quarters, but none in the fourth. Rondo did have 4 assists, including a couple of lob dunks to Kevin Garnett in crunchtime, but no one would expect Teague to be perfect in his first extended NBA action.
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"He's such a quick, drafty guard. I just wanted to keep him in front of me and try to make it as tough as I could," Teague said of Rondo.
"He's one of the top point guards in the NBA, so that's only going to help me get better. If you can guard him, you can pretty much stay with anybody. So I was just trying to give it everything I had."
This season figured to be mostly a learning experience for Teague, who is 19 years old and played one year in college at Kentucky. Now he may have a chance to work his way into the playing rotation.
"He's a very talented player -- very good athlete, long arms, good shooter," teammate Kirk Hinrich said. "I've tried to sometimes step back and think what would it be like if I was 19 up here. He did great. I try not to overwhelm him with anything. Just let him know that if he has any questions, I'm there for him."
Teague doesn't get key call:
Teague scored 5 points in the fourth quarter against Boston and was involved in a key play late in the contest.
The Bulls trailed 87-84 with seven minutes left when Teague drove into the lane and scored over Kevin Garnett. The whistle blew and fans at the United Center thought it might be a 3-point play opportunity. Instead, Teague was called for an offensive foul, using his free arm to shield Garnett's block attempt.
"I thought that was a tough call," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought he made a strong move to the basket. It probably could have gone either way. It went against us. That's part of the game."
More late-game changes:
The Bulls' game-ending lineups have been different most every night. On Monday against Boston, coach Tom Thibodeau used Marquis Teague, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler with starters Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.
"We have an idea of who he want to finish with, but you have to look at how the game is unfolding," Thibodeau said. "When you're behind and need energy, you're going to go with speed and quickness. Whatever the game needs, you're going to look to your bench and see if the answer's there."
Bulls put five on ballot:
The Bulls will have five players on the NBA all-star ballot -- Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson.
Derrick Rose's omission is understandable, since he's recovering from knee surgery and likely wouldn't be able to play in the All-Star Game. But Richard Hamilton, the Bulls' leading scorer in preseason, was also left out.
New this year is Twitter voting. The tweet must include the player's first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABALLOT. Voting can also be done through Facebook.