D.J. Augustin Keeps Proving He Deserves to Start, Bulls Roll Over 76ers

By Ryan Heckman
Jonathan Daniel — Getty Images

Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls looked to take one more step toward getting back over the .500 mark. Since the new year, the Bulls had gone 6-2 prior to their matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. While the Sixers have had a rough season overall, these Bulls have proved they like to keep it close at times even when it shouldn’t be.

In this one, Chicago took off running and never looked back. The Bulls completely rolled over Philly by a final score of 103-78. There was a huge disparity in point guard play between the two teams, primarily when looking at Michael Carter-Williams and D.J. Augustin.

Carter-Williams took 22 shots and made a grand total of five Saturday night, finishing with 10 points, five assists, five rebounds and five turnovers. This rookie year has been one of ups and downs for Carter-Williams, but this was definitely a night to forget.

Augustin, meanwhile, continued his strong play since joining Chicago. Augustin finished with 19 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. He also shot the ball well, going 7-for-10 from the field. In his time with the Bulls, he’s averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 29 minutes, giving the Bulls a legitimate point guard.

Kirk Hinrich has done next to nothing for Chicago this year, averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 assists in over 30 minutes per game — that equates to a measly 9.6 PER, good for 10th on the team. Augustin has proved to be the much better player overall, and better at running the offense — especially the fast break.

If the Bulls want to continue their recent success, Tom Thibodeau would be smart to insert Augustin into the starting lineup and give him a few more minutes than the aging Hinrich. He has gelled with the team extremely well thus far and only continues to get more comfortable with the Bulls. His season as a Bull cannot be understated. If it wasn’t for Augustin, the Bulls wouldn’t have had the luxury of trading Marquis Teague on the same day they took down the Sixers.

Bulls fans, imagine if Teague had been playing Augustin’s 29 minutes per game. I rest my case — Augustin has been one of the most valuable assets to this team lately and deserves a starting role.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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