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posted: 10/25/2013 9:28 PM

Bulls hope Noah, Hinrich will play in opener

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  • The Nuggets' Nate Robinson, right, hugs the Bulls' Kirk Hinrich on Friday. They were teammates on the Bulls last season.

      The Nuggets' Nate Robinson, right, hugs the Bulls' Kirk Hinrich on Friday. They were teammates on the Bulls last season.
    Associated Press

 
 

With four days left before the regular-season opener at Miami, the Bulls remain hopeful that Joakim Noah (groin strain) and Kirk Hinrich (concussion) will be ready to play.

"We'll see. They were good today, better (than they have been)," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "I want them to go through some practices first, then we'll see where they are."

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Thibodeau said besides the concussion, Hinrich is also experiencing some shoulder soreness, another byproduct of falling into teammate Erik Murphy's knee last week.

If Hinrich is not ready to play, the Bulls must decide whether to keep veteran point guard Mike James or stick with second-year pro Marquis Teague as the backup. Before the game, Thibodeau was asked if he prefers experienced players.

"No, I prefer good players," he said. "That's what I prefer. I don't care if you're young, old, in between -- I don't really care. Just have the ability to get the job done."

Rose fan in the house:

Even though he'll have to play against him twice this season, Denver's Nate Robinson is glad to see Derrick Rose off to a good start.

"For me, it's fun to see because my son loves him," Robinson said. "My son goes, 'Dad, did you see what D-Rose did?' I'm like, 'Yeah son, I watch TV. We play them.' My son's birthday is tomorrow. He's real excited. D-Rose took a picture with him. D-Rose is a standup guy. One of the best superstars we have in this league. It's a treat just to get to watch him play."

New Chief Triangle:

First-year Denver coach Brian Shaw, a disciple of Phil Jackson, said he'd like to eventually run the triangle offense, but needs his assistants to be able to teach it.

Shaw also had a surprising take on ex-Bulls guard Nate Robinson.

"He actually falls into the leader category on this team," Shaw said. "He's one of our older guys on this team. I just had some discussions with him about he's at that point in his career where he has to lead by example.

"He's been good. The guys on the team, they respect them. He hits them all the time with heart over height. They know he's had to overcome a lot of obstacles in his career because of his size."

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