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updated: 4/30/2014 12:09 AM

Bulls look ahead after tough ending

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  • Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich puts his hands on his head after fouling out of Game 5 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Chicago. The Wizards won 75-69.

      Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich puts his hands on his head after fouling out of Game 5 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Chicago. The Wizards won 75-69.
    Associated Press

  • Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau shouts during game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.

       Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau shouts during game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker drives on Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah during the Bulls 75-69 loss in game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.

       Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker drives on Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah during the Bulls 75-69 loss in game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Nene drives on Taj Gibson during the Bulls' Game 5 loss Tuesday.

       Nene drives on Taj Gibson during the Bulls' Game 5 loss Tuesday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Bulls forward Taj Gibson disagrees with a call during the Bulls 75-69 loss in game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.

       Bulls forward Taj Gibson disagrees with a call during the Bulls 75-69 loss in game five of first-round of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night at the United Center.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Immediately after a frustrating playoff loss, it's tough to tell what's next for the Bulls.

They'll obviously try to upgrade the offense after finishing the season by scoring 69 points and shooting a lowly 33.3 percent from the field in Tuesday night's Game 5 loss to Washington.

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One player who won't be back is Carlos Boozer. He has a year left on his contract, but the Bulls almost certainly will use the amnesty clause to avoid his $16.8 million salary count toward the cap and luxury tax.

Boozer left the locker room Tuesday without speaking to the media, but the players will have exit meetings at the Berto Center today.

Boozer (minus-16) and Mike Dunleavy (minus-18) didn't fare particularly well in Game 5, although Boozer finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds.

Guard D.J. Augustin ended a tough series by going 1-for-10 from the field for 4 points. He shot 29.2 percent from the field overall in the series but was the Bulls' leading scorer during the second half of the regular season. He joined the team Dec. 13 after being released by Toronto.

"I definitely love it here," Augustin said after the game. "I definitely would love to be back here. But right now I'm just trying to get over this game. It's still fresh in my mind."

Kirk Hinrich is a free agent whose future is unclear. He played well in Game 5, scoring 16 points and hitting 4 of 5 attempts from 3-point range.

"I have a lot of respect for everybody in this room," Hinrich said. "It was fun playing with them. It's just bittersweet right now because we didn't get the job done. I know they have a good group of guys coming back. Right now, it's just hard to think about."

Noah looks ahead:

Joakim Noah probably is the most secure player on the Bulls. He has become the face of the franchise with Derrick Rose's repeated injuries.

"To go out like that, free-throw rebounds, definitely will be thinking about that for a while," Noah said. "There are things I've got to do a lot better in my game. I'm going to take that this summer. I'm going to work my (butt) off to become a better player and be even more ready for next year.

"I think we're a good team. We're trying to find a way to get over that hump, to get to that next level. The only thing I can do is get better individually and get ready for next season.

"I don't know what the future holds in terms of who's going to be here and stuff. All I can say is I appreciate the guys who were here this year. I've never been around a group of guys who worked their (butts) off like this."

Two costly injuries:

Besides Taj Gibson's sprained left ankle in the fourth quarter, Joakim Noah was clearly hobbled at time with a sore left knee in Tuesday's game. At one point, Noah's knee was hit by teammate Mike Dunleavy in a scramble for a rebound.

"His knee has bothered him for a while," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Probably the whole second half of the year. We will have it checked out and see where he is."

"I'm not sure what it is," Noah said. "But I was able to play with it. I think I was winded a little bit. There's no excuses. I'll check it out, see what's wrong with it. We've got a lot of time to take care of it.

Bull horns:

The Bulls have trailed 3-1 in the playoffs nine times and lost every one. … Ex-Bulls guard Ben Gordon was at Tuesday's game and drew cheers when shown on the videoboard. Gordon usually was booed at the United Center since leaving as a free agent in 2009.

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