Hinrich has been dealing with a right foot injury. He was expected to play in Friday’s game at Golden State, but a setback in his recovery thwarted those plans. After practice Sunday he participated in extra shooting drills and appeared pain-free.
Gibson also participated in extra shooting drills, but remains out with his knee injury. Hamilton has been dealing with lower back discomfort.
The NBA is known for its grueling, physically taxing schedule, but in all of his years around the league, head coach Tom Thibodeau said he has never seen anything like this.
“In New York we lost (Patrick) Ewing for practically a whole season, in Houston, we went through that with Yao (Ming) and in Boston ()Garnett missed half a season, but never quite (like this),” Thibodeau said. “The advantage from this situation is that we knew Derrick was going to be out and we knew that from the summer. That did give us a chance to prepare but what you’re not planning on is all of the other injuries.”
Thibideau continues to preach a collective effort, something that helped their turnaround from being blown out in Sacramento last week to coming right back and blowing out Golden State on Friday.
“We need everybody,” Thibodeau said. “We’re short-handed. We know our chance for success is to do it collectively.”
The optimist's view is that by relying on so many people this season, the Bulls will be even better if and when everybody else, including Rose, can return.
“I think that’s the challenge you always face is that whatever your circumstances are to make the best of those circumstances,” Thibodeau said. “I think we have a better understanding that we’re capable of winning any game if we do the necessary things, and we do the right things. That starts with our preparation and putting work in and knowing our opponent well and putting maximum effort into each and every day.
“So if you do that and you have great concentration, your intensity level will be high. That’s what we have to focus on. Right now, we have the challenge of the season and everyone says, ‘It’s a grind.’ Yeah it is a grind and the ones who find success are the ones that are able to get through that.”