Chicago Bulls shooting guard Kirk Hinrich was unable to suit up for Monday’s 110-91 loss against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of the 2013 NBA playoffs. There is a good chance the Bulls will have to try to finish off the Nets without Hinrich in Game 6 as it appears unlikely for him to play.
Chicago was no match for Brooklyn without Hinrich on the floor. The 32-year-old has been the vocal leader for the team without Derrick Rose, while his overall performance is a big reason why the Bulls have been so successful.
“He’s our captain,” Bulls guard Nate Robinson told ESPN.com. “That’s like Tom Brady going down and somebody has to come in and fill in for him. At the same time, you got to be ready. And I know our guys, all of us collectively, we’re always ready to pick up somebody when they’re down. So if Kirk plays or if he doesn’t play we got to be ready regardless.”
Without Hinrich in the lineup, Nets guard Deron Williams was able to go off on the Bulls. He recorded 23 points and 10 assists, a performance that could very easily be repeated without the team’s best defender on the court.
Even though Game 6 will not be played until Thursday, Hinrich’s injured calf is significant enough to the point where Chicago has all but ruled him out. The 10th year player has been moving around in a walking boot in an attempt to stabilize the calf while he gets from place to place. However, it does not appear there will be enough time for him to heal enough in order to be effective in the next game.
The last thing the Bulls need is for Hinrich to be seriously injured to the point where he would not be able to play in a possible Game 7 or the next round of the playoffs. Considering Chicago has a one-game lead in the series, it would be the wise move to rest Hinrich for one more game in hopes of being able to play in any contest after Thursday.