Belinelli not worried about shooting woes - yet

DEERFIELD -- It's been three exhibition games and new Chicago Bulls forward Marco Belinelli has yet to hit a three-point shot. But not to worry, he says, it's coming.

"I can't wait for that," Belinelli stated Tuesday morning after practice. "I didn't take a lot of shots in these three games because on the team I'm focused on defense ... But of course I don't want to use that as an excuse. I know that I have to score. I work every day on that. I hope that tonight (Tuesday) I can (make) some three-point shots."

Belinelli is 6-of-20 from the field and 0-of-6 from three-point range so far in the preseason. He'll get another chance for his first three-pointer when the Bulls host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night at the United Center.

"He's learning a new system right now," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Each day he's improving and that's what I'm concerned with. With shooters, as long as they're his shots."

In other words, Thibodeau would only be concerned if Belinelli were forcing shots in a manner he's not used to. Thibodeau wants him shooting off pick and rolls and in transition.

"I just want him playing to his strengths," the coach stated. "He'll find his way ... I just want him to play the best defense of his career, whatever that might be ... He's making great strides. He's already proven he's a good player in this league."

Maybe the focus on defense is taking away from Belinelli's offense.

"Everything is different for me," Belinelli said of his new surroundings. "Not just me but for all the new guys on the team. Maybe it takes a little bit of time ... It will come."

Belinelli is a career .424 shooter and hits 37 percent of the time from three-point range, so his preseason numbers are below his averages -- but it's early.

"I hope to hit some shots," Belinelli reiterated. "They will come."


* Thibodeau wouldn't commit to a starting lineup for Tuesday's game but did indicate he wants to see Luol Deng play with the second team.

* Center Kyrylo Fesenko missed a second practice due to illness but Thibodeau didn't completely rule him out for the game.

* Guard Nate Robinson said Thibodeau has "harped a lot" about the turnovers through the first three games. The Bulls have turned it over 22 times so far.

"Thibs is hard on us but I tell guys all the time ‘you can't think too much,'" Robinson said. "Because on offense he wants (it) to flow so when you get caught thinking and trying to make the right play, sometime you get turnovers. Like myself, I have more turnovers than assists ... Everything will get better as a team."