Kirk Hinrich won’t make the trip to Boston and will stay home to continue his rehab from an infected right elbow.
The Bulls will play the Boston Celtics (27-24) on Wednesday and it will be the seventh straight game that Hinrich has missed since returning home before the team’s loss at Brooklyn on Feb. 1.
“He’s coming along pretty well,” coach Tom Thibodeau said of Hinrich’s progress. “For his rehabilitation, we just think it will be better for him to stay here.”
Written off after losing All-Star Rajon Rondo for the season, the Celtics have won seven of their last eight games.
“Rondo is a great player,” Thibodeau said. “When you lose someone like that, similar to what we’re going through, the way you respond is you have to do it collectively and they’ve done that. They’re playing very hard, very unselfishly and we have to be ready for that.”
“That’s where(Paul) Pierce is so unique, because of his ball-handling ability. He’s capable of running the point for them and they have a lot of interchangeable parts. They can run their offense through (Kevin) Garnett as well. That’s the uniqueness of Pierce and Garnett. It gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can run your offense.”
Boston is also without rookie Jared Sullinger – who is out for the season after having undergone lumbar disk surgery – and lost Leandro Barbosa for the season after the guard suffered a non-contact left knee injury during the Celtics’ 94-91 loss in Charlotte on Monday night.
Even with the injuries, last night’s 103-89 loss to the San Antonio Spurs – who were without Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson and Tony Parker, is a perfect indication on Thibodeau’s mantra of readiness to play.
“Barbosa was playing well, but they’re a deep team,” Thibodeau said. “They have a lot of interchangeable parts that fit well together and they’re playing at a very high level. We have to grind, do it collectively and play with great intensity. We can’t take shortcuts and when we put the work into it, we give ourselves a chance.”
POPPOVICH RECALLS MEMORY OF JORDAN
With Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday just five days away, numerous stories and memories are being told about his still ongoing impact on the league having been retired now for 10 years.
San Antonio’s Greg Poppovich recalled his most memorable Jordan moment before his team defeated the Bulls on Monday night.
“You’ve seen him do so many things that you can’t pick one memory,” Poppovich said. “The first time I saw him, I was a new assistant in the league and I don’t think I noticed anything on the court other than Michael. I was just in awe watching him play. I can remember sitting there next to Larry (Brown) and watching him. I know I didn’t come close to doing any kind of job for Larry that night. I was just staring at Michael. I always remember that.”