There is no official word on how long Kirk Hinrich might be out with a right hamstring strain. But he did not make the trip to Cleveland and the Bulls are planning to sign veteran point guard Mike James to a 10-day contract.
James started the season with the Bulls and didn't play much. But by going through training camp, he is well-prepared for this assignment.
Hinrich appeared to suffer the injury midway through the third quarter of Monday's overtime win over the Lakers. He fell awkwardly while dribbling across the lane, left the game shortly thereafter and did not return.
That's the bad news. The good news is D.J. Augustin has averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists over the last four games, while shooting 54 percent overall and is 14 for 25 from 3-point range.
Guard Marquis Teague officially left the Bulls on Tuesday in a trade with Brooklyn. The Bulls get 6-9 power forward Tornike "Toko" Shengelia, who is expected to be in uniform Wednesday against Cleveland. Shengelia is a second-year player from the Republic of Georgia who's seen very little NBA playing time.
The Bulls signed forward Cartier Martin to a second 10-day contract on Monday.
D.J. saves Bulls:
D.J. Augustin scored a season-high 27 points against the Lakers, while hitting 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range. He hit clutch tying 3-pointers with 1:10 left in regulation and 2:33 left in overtime.
It's an old story now, but still amazing that Augustin could be an outcast in Indiana last season, released by Toronto early this year, then turn into a savior for the Bulls.
"I'm getting an opportunity," Augustin said after Monday's game. "I didn't get an opportunity the last two years of my career. When I was in Charlotte, I played the same way I'm playing now. The last two years in Indiana and Toronto, I didn't get an opportunity. I'm getting an opportunity here and playing a lot of minutes. When I play a lot of minutes. I think I've played pretty good.
"I know what I can do. Confidence is the biggest key to playing in the NBA. Everybody in the NBA is good. The guys who are better and play great play with the ultimate confidence."
Deng talks defense:
Luol Deng was asked in Cleveland how to attack Tom Thibodeau's defense.
"I think you've got to move the ball," he said. "It's a defense that you're not going to beat one-on-one. You might have a few plays where you might beat it one-on-one. But that whole defense is set up to not be beaten from the strong side. So as a team we've got to know that we've got to move the ball. We've got to get them moving. You don't want their defense on one side of the floor. That's the key to that defense. They want to keep the ball on one side of the floor."
Taj's big walk-off:
Taj Gibson said Monday's last-second layup against the Lakers was the first time he'd ever hit a game-winning shot in his basketball career.
The Bulls had to inbound along the baseline with 0.9 seconds on the clock. Coach Tom Thibodeau designed a play for Jimmy Butler to force his way down the lane and Gibson to follow the open path.
It worked to perfection as Butler essentially shoved Nick Young under the basket and Gibson's defender, Manny Harris, played behind him. Pau Gasol was guarding the inbound passer, Mike Dunleavy, and couldn't slide over in time.
"It was nerve-wracking, because you've got Pau Gasol (defending). You don't want to mess up," Gibson said. "The United Center is brutal. Chicago is tough. I just didn't want to mess up."