Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich will start in the team’s season opener against the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night. Hinrich was questionable heading into Wednesday, but coach Tom Thibodeau announced that he will be in the starting lineup.
Hinrich dealt with multiple injuries in the preseason, including a groin strain that kept him out of the Bulls’ previous game. The veteran guard practiced in the team’s Wednesday morning shootaround without any setbacks, and Thibodeau said that Hinrich is ready to go.
“He’s been fine the last two days in practice, so he’s good,” Thibodeau said.
The veteran guard was reacquired by Chicago in the offseason, taking the place of C.J. Watson, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Hinrich averaged 9.4 points and 5.6 assists in the preseason, and seemed to have a solid handle on facilitating the Bulls’ offense.
“You judge your point guard by how the team is functioning,” Thibodeau said. “I thought he set the tone on offense and defense for us. The ball pressure was good. His help defense was good. He kept us organized. We played with a good pace. His willingness to read matchups and make the extra pass and ability to understand what everybody’s strengths and weaknesses are was good.”
The Bulls will rely heavily on Hinrich for minutes at both the 1 and 2 spots, while Nate Robinson will also get minutes at the point. Hinrich’s scrappiness and tough defense make him perfect for Thibodeau’s style of play, the only question is how durable the veteran is and how much athleticism he has left in the tank.
Chicago will look to start off the regular season on the right foot against the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.
Zach Mink covers the Chicago Bulls for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zachmink12 for more news and analysis.