In the absence of injured starter Rip Hamilton, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau opted to start backup shooting guard Marco Belinelli in place of the accomplished veteran, keeping second-year swingman Jimmy Butler in his familiar bench role. Belinelli scored six points in just over 24 minutes of action, while Butler scored four points, but snagged nine rebounds and played the entire fourth quarter, including helping spark a run, along with Nate Robinson that gave the Bulls the lead in the final frame. "We have more than enough," Thibodeau said afterwards, delivering one of his trademark phrases. "I thought Marco gave us some good minutes, Jimmy gave us some good minutes. We have enough. We have to do better." Belinelli was serviceable, in the sense that he didn't make obvious mistakes—though missing his first two free-throw attempts didn't exactly get him off to a great start—and Butler definitely picked up his play late, but neither provided what Hamilton, a 13.9 points-per-game scorer, brings to the table. In a defensive struggle, the 34-year-old veteran's ability to score against a set defense, as well as in transition, was sorely missed.
Injured Hamilton missed in narrow defeat
CSN Chicago | Dec 5