With Derrick Rose still recovering from his ACL tear, Kirk Hinrich has played the role of starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls for most of the season. However, Hinrich has been dealing with foot problems lately that caused him to miss a string of games in February and to miss the Bulls’ last game against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Hinrich has by no means proven to be an elite point guard in the NBA, but he has shown that he can run the Bulls offense. For the season, he’s averaged just 7.4 points per game, but has dished out 5.4 assists per contest. He’s also been an efficient long-range shooter this year, posting a 39.8 percent three-point percentage.
But with him sidelined with his foot injury, Nate Robinson is his replacement in the starting lineup. Though Robinson has shown a ton of improvement this season from his earlier days in the league, he tends to require the ball on the offensive end a lot more than Hinrich. Moreover, Robinson also is a little more trigger-happy than Hinrich, averaging 3.6 more field goal attempts per game, despite playing fewer minutes.
The Bulls are a team that thrives on their defense and plays a methodical team-oriented style on the offensive end, especially without Rose being healthy. In that type of offensive system, Hinrich is much more suited to that style of play than Robinson. He tends to make the extra pass more often and doesn’t work in isolation as often as Robinson does.
Without Hinrich in the lineup on Sunday against Indiana, the Bulls scored 92 points, close to their season average. However, it seemed evident that their offense has some hiccups in it when watching them. As Hinrich is doubtful for Chicago’s game on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, the Bulls are going to miss the way her runs their offense. Robinson has played well this season, but in terms of their scheme, Hinrich is the better option for them.