Kirk Hinrich was one and done when it came to his sore right elbow.
The Bulls’ guard missed the seven games before the all-star break with an elbow infection, returned to the lineup Tuesday at New Orleans, then was sidelined again Thursday against Miami. Nate Robinson started in his place.
“There’s always concern when you miss some time,” coach Tom Thibodeau said before the contest. “Hopefully he’ll be fine. You know how tough-minded he is and you know how badly he wants to be out there.”
Once the Bulls tipped off, there seemed to be further evidence that they miss Hinrich more than what can be found on the stat sheet. They piled up 17 turnovers in the first half, while Miami point guard Mario Chalmers got off to a fast start with 8 points in the first quarter.
To be fair, the high turnovers weren’t the fault of Robinson alone. Six different Bulls had multiple turnovers in the first half, while Robinson had 1.
Robinson left the game early in the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul, an ill-advised grab of Chalmers about two feet in front of the Bulls’ bench.
Thibs takes on turnovers:
After the game, coach Tom Thibodeau blamed himself for the Bulls’ astronomical turnover total in their loss to the Heat.
“They’re very good at pressuring the ball and swarming the ball,” he said. “If you’re trying to thread the needle against them into the paint and keep the ball on one side of the floor, you’re going to have a problem.
“I thought we were unselfish. We were trying to pass the ball. However, we didn’t see the plays the way we should have seen the plays. I have to have our team understanding what we’re trying to get accomplished out there.
“I also thought the level of intensity in this type of game wasn’t where it should be. … Nobody played well.”
The great giveaway:
By piling up 17 turnovers in the first half against Miami, the Bulls certainly created some alarm. Their single-game high for turnovers this season was 22, set in Boston just before the all-star break.
Actually, though, they were a long way from the franchise record. The Bulls had 23 turnovers in the first half against New Jersey on March 19, 1979.
The team’s high turnover count for a game is 34 in regulation time and 38 in overtime, set Oct. 27, 1978 against Phoenix.
The Bulls wore their black with red pinstripes throwback uniforms on Thursday, while Miami was in red. … Miami’s Mike Miller didn’t make the trip due to sinus and ear infections. … The Heat traded reserve center Dexter Pittman to Memphis just before the trade deadline, receiving the draft rights to center Ricky Sanchez, who is currently playing in Argentina. Pittman spent more time in the D-League than with the Heat, which has turned to heavily-tattooed former Denver forward Chris “Birdman” Andersen as a backup big man. … Longtime NBA coach Dr. Jack Ramsey celebrated his 88th birthday by calling Thursday’s game for ESPN Radio. ... Miami has won nine in a row and snapped a four-game regular-season losing streak at the United Center.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.