Chicago Bulls: Rip Hamilton

Hamilton eases back to action

April, 9, 2013
4/09/13
9:28
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Unlike his abrupt departure from the Chicago Bulls with a lower back strain in late February, Richard Hamilton's return Tuesday flew quietly under the radar.

He had a long and tricky recovery the last month and a half, saying that not only did an MRI show that he had a bulging disc in his lower back, but he also claimed that he "tore something in there."

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Banged up Bulls grinding it out

March, 17, 2013
3/17/13
1:50
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Not only was there no upgrade on Derrick Rose's status Sunday, his injured Chicago Bulls teammates Kirk Hinrich,Taj Gibson and Rip Hamilton remain day-to-day.

Hinrich has been dealing with a right foot injury. He was expected to play in Friday’s game at Golden State, but a setback in his recovery thwarted those plans. After practice Sunday he participated in extra shooting drills and appeared pain-free.

Gibson also participated in extra shooting drills, but remains out with his knee injury. Hamilton has been dealing with lower back discomfort.

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Rapid Reaction: Celtics 71, Bulls 69

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
9:26
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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BOSTON -- Let's take a quick look at how the Boston Celtics earned a 71-69 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

How it happened: Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds in a game that had plenty of poor offensive execution to go around. Jimmy Butler had a solid night with 11 points and six rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as the Bulls couldn't take care of the ball and struggled to find an offensive rhythm all night. The Bulls have now lost four of their past five.

What it means: Tom Thibodeau is never happy when his team loses, but he will be especially disgusted after this game. That's because the Bulls turned the ball over 22 times and looked terrible offensively. Nate Robinson struggled getting the Bulls into an offense, and the Bulls couldn't figure out how to break Boston's defensive pressure. This game was ugly and will leave a sour taste in Thibodeau's mouth as his beleaguered team heads into the All-Star break. For all of his flaws -- and there are many -- the Bulls are missing Kirk Hinrich and the stabilizing presence he provided on the offensive end.

Hits: Marquis Teague gave Thibodeau some solid minutes in the first half in place of Robinson. He finished the game with five points and three assists in 20 minutes.

Misses: Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng were a combined 10-for-30 from the field.

Stat of the night: According to Bulls Radio statistician Jeff Mangurten, the Bulls' 22 turnovers are the most in any game of the Thibodeau era.

What's next: The Bulls head into the All-Star break with a 30-22 record. They face the New Orleans Hornets next Tuesday night.

Hamilton returns, doesn't sweat rumors

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
12:26
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- After missing nearly a month because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton returned to the floor in Saturday night's 87-77 win over the Washington Wizards, scoring nine points in 15 minutes.

[+] EnlargeRichard Hamilton
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhRip Hamilton is back on the court and on a 15-20 minute limit.
"I felt pretty good," Hamilton said. "It was sore, but I kind of told the trainers and stuff the adrenaline, being out on the floor, will be easy for me to not think about the pain and things like that. But I felt good. I was able to get to my spots on the floor and that was the biggest thing I was worried about, the change in direction, especially when somebody's guarding me and having to take a hit and things like that."

Hamilton, who missed 38 games last season because of various injuries, was a welcome addition to a lineup that has struggled to find an offensive rhythm throughout the year. The veteran admitted that Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau placed him on a 15-20 minute limit for the foreseeable future. Asked if it was the coach or the doctors who put the limit on, Hamilton couldn't help but chuckle.

"He might be the doctor and the coach," Hamilton said of Thibodeau.

For his part, Thibodeau was glad to put Hamilton back in the starting lineup.

"Good," Thibodeau said of Hamilton's performance, "taking everything into consideration and the amount of time that he's been out. Particularly in the second half I thought he had a pretty good rhythm going. He created separation and moved extremely well without the ball, so that was a big plus. We need his minutes, we need his shots, we need his points."

That sentiment echoed throughout the Bulls' locker room. Despite Hamilton's previous injuries, he was playing well before he got hurt as the Bulls ran a lot of offensive sets in his direction.

"It was great," center Joakim Noah said of Hamilton's return. "He can score in his sleep. Having Rip out there definitely helps, it's just another weapon for us. Having him is huge."

Having Hamilton back also means that veteran shooter Marco Belinelli heads back to the bench after an impressive December. Because of Hamilton's limited playing time, Belinelli, who scored 17 on Saturday night, and second-year swingman Jimmy Butler will still see minutes, but Thibodeau still isn't sure just how many each will get it. It's because of Belinelli's solid play and Butler's energy off the bench that Hamilton's name has popped up in a lot of trade speculation throughout the league.

"I don't pay attention to it," said, who has a team option at the end of this season. "It happens every year. Every year, if you ain't in a trade rumor, then you ain't doing something right. That's how I always looked at it. That's the way this game goes, you hear about stuff every day because GM's are talking to different players every day. It's nothing that I even get caught up or think about or anything like that."

Hamilton, who signed with the Bulls right before the start of last season, is still convinced this team can make a run at a championship if and when it gets Derrick Rose back in the fold.

"We got a chance," Hamilton said. "I think our biggest thing is health. I think last year that was our biggest thing -- health. I think this year it's probably going to be the same thing. Talent-wise and skill-wise, that's a no brainer. It's just for us, (the key is) kind of just being healthy."

Rip Hamilton has torn plantar fascia

December, 2, 2012
12/02/12
8:19
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Rip Hamilton has a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, an MRI revealed Sunday.

Hamilton injured the foot in the third quarter of the Chicago Bulls' win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

The team said Hamilton would return the court "as his symptoms permit."

Read the entire story.

Hamilton, Boozer make most of opportunity

November, 24, 2012
11/24/12
11:47
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls starters Richard Hamilton and forward Carlos Boozer hadn’t played the amount of minutes they would have liked in crunch time over the team’s previous two games heading into Saturday night.

Hamilton saw 17 minutes and didn’t play in the fourth quarter in Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets, and Boozer had played 25 minutes and just part of the final quarter. In their loss to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the week, they each played 22 minutes and both sat out the fourth quarter.

On Saturday, the two players got together before the game and pledged to each other to play as hard as they could.

The plan paid off as they both started off strong, and because of that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau allowed them to finish, as well. Boozer scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds, and Hamilton scored 22 points in the Bulls’ 93-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, helping the Bulls snap a three-game losing streak.

“I think you never know how long you’re going to be out there,” Boozer said. “You don’t know if you’re going to go back out there in the fourth quarter. Me and Rip talked about it before the game, just be aggressive while you’re out, see what happens. That’s kind of our mentality the last few games. It was going great tonight.

“It was great (being out there.) We want to be out there every fourth quarter. That’s Thibs’ decision. ... This is his show. He runs it. He puts who he wants out there, and we just go with the flow.”

When Hamilton was asked whether it was important for him to be playing in the fourth quarter, he smiled and said very little.

“Like I said, it was fun,” Hamilton said. “It was like any other game.”

One noticeable difference in Saturday’s game was the Bulls made a concentrated effort to put the 6-foot-7 Hamilton in the post and create matchups problems for 6-foot-3 Bucks guard Monta Ellis and 6-foot-1 Brandon Jennings. Hamilton hit five of his six shots around the baseline or in the paint.

“It was fun,” Hamilton said of posting up. “I enjoy it. I like it. So it was good guys were trying to find me and stuff like that.”

Thibodeau was also pleased.

“I thought he played a good game,” Thibodeau said of Hamilton. “He got in the post. He got a good balance. He ran the floor hard. I thought he made great effort on defensive transition. I thought he did a really good job.”

Thibodeau was even happier with Boozer, especially his rebounding. Boozer had eight offensive and 11 defensive rebounds. His biggest offensive rebound came when he threw home a slam dunk off a Joakim Noah miss with 29.8 seconds remaining to give the Bulls an 89-85 advantage.

“I thought he was terrific,” Thibodeau said. “I thought he played hard. He made great effort on the board. The rebounding was a huge key.”

Rip starts season on positive note

October, 31, 2012
10/31/12
11:40
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton officially turned the page on last season.

After missing 38 games, including the home opener, last season because of a variety of injuries, Hamilton opened the 2012-2013 season on Wednesday, the 14th of his career, on a positive note as he scored 19 points in the Bulls' 93-87 win over the Sacramento Kings at the United Center.

"Last year I was hurt," said Hamilton, who had eight games of 19 or more points last season. "That's in the past. It felt good. It feels good to be out there battling with your teammates. It feels good to have a regular season. It feels good to get a win. So I'm definitely excited about it."

Hamilton got into an early rhythm Wednesday and knocked down three shots in the first quarter and added two more in second quarter. He scored 10 of his 19 points in the first half and made it a miserable evening for Kings guard Tyreke Evans. Hamilton shot 7-of-16 from the field, 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and added three assists and two steals.

"It was a tough night," Evans said. "He just never stops running."

It was the sort of performance Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau expected out of Hamilton. As long as Hamilton is on the court, Thibodeau knows what he's going to get from him.

"The big thing with Rip is his health," Thibodeau said. "He put a lot of effort into getting his body healthy this summer. I think it has paid off for him. Whenever he plays, he is effective. The problem was missing 38 games. He never really got into a rhythm. The first time he played an extensive stretch was in April. It was a tough year. That got his attention, and I thought he did a great job this summer putting a lot of time in."

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Without Rose, do Bulls have 'go-to guy'?

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
8:45
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- As the Bulls continue to adjust to a new world without Derrick Rose, yet another fundamental question comes to the forefront as Tom Thibodeau works on the composition of his roster.

[+] EnlargeDerrick Rose
AP Photo/Jeffrey PhelpsDerrick Rose was undoubtedly the Bulls' safety net with the game on the line, so his absence leaves Tom Thibodeau scrambling for a primary scorer.
After watching Rose dominate and take over games the past few seasons, Thibodeau is going to walk into games for an elongated stretch without a true "go-to guy." As player after player has discussed since his injury, Rose was the ultimate safety net for the Bulls. When the shot clock or game clock was running down, the players on the floor simply found Rose, gave him the ball and watched as he usually delivered a basket. Now it's not so easy -- and Thibodeau and his players know it.

The veteran coach was asked after Wednesday's practice if he would like to have a "go-to" scorer without Rose on the floor, and his answer was another reminder that Rose isn't coming back for a long time.

"You always want three primary scorers," Thibodeau said. "It's always been the case. It's been the case when Derrick was here. When you look at the game, it's your ability to try to make it hard on your opponent's three primary scorers and they're going to try to make it hard on your three primary scorers. And then the responsibility of a primary scorer is when he's one on one, we want him to score. When the second defender comes, he has the responsibility to hit the open man and make the right play. So there's a lot of responsibility that goes with a primary scorer."

In Thibodeau's defense, even when Rose was able to play he usually gave the same variation of an answer. Thibodeau wants his team to have several different options who can consistently score. The difference is that when Rose was around, the question always became a moot point. If there was a final shot to be taken, Rose was going to do it. Having three scorers was nice, but only one of them was putting up the most important shot of the night and everyone in the building knew it.

Now the Bulls don't have that luxury.

It's not hard to read between the lines and understand that as long as Rose is out, Thibodeau will turn to Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton to be the primary scorers for his team. The problem is that there is no sure thing with that group. While all three have proven they can score in this league, none of them has the ability to consistently get their own shot off the dribble like Rose did.

That's why the answer as to whether Thibodeau has a "go-to" guy without Rose is undeniable -- No.

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Bulls player recap: Rip Hamilton

May, 21, 2012
5/21/12
7:51
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Rip HamiltonGary Dineen/NBAE/Getty ImagesRip Hamilton played well when he was on the floor, but missed too much time with injuries.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a closer look at each player on the Bulls roster and see where they fit in for the future.

Rip Hamilton


Position: Shooting guard. Age: 34. 2011-12 salary: $5,000,000.

Season recap: Injuries marred Hamilton's first season with the Bulls. First, a groin injury during the first week of the season kept him out of the lineup for about two months. Then a shoulder injury in the first week of March put him out for another month. Hamilton responded well at certain points during the postseason, but coach Tom Thibodeau seemed hesitant to use him during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers until Game 6.

Season highlight: After a very frustrating season, Hamilton actually played one of his best games in Game 1 against the Sixers. He was 6-for-7 from the field, scored 19 points, dished out four assists and looked good alongside Derrick Rose. Of course, everything changed when Rose went down with a torn left ACL late in the game and Hamilton never looked as good for the rest of the series.

Season lowlight: The 38 games Hamilton missed due to injury. When Hamilton actually played, he usually looked fine on the floor, but he just could not stay healthy. When he returned late in the season, Thibodeau was very cautious with his minutes and never wanted to push him, even though he was one of the best remaining scoring options for the Bulls.

Notes: Hamilton was brought in to be the missing piece to the Bulls' championship puzzle but he just couldn't stay on the floor. He wanted to be out there and he wanted to produce, his body just wouldn't allow it. Obviously, it would have been interesting to see how Hamilton would have performed if Rose had stayed healthy, but that's not the way things worked out. Hamilton looked very old as the season progressed and increasingly became a target of Bulls' fans frustrations.

Quotes: "With me, it's not all about scoring," Hamilton said in January. "There's so many great players on this team. My job is to try and make everybody's job easy. If it's scoring, if it's passing, or whatever, that's what I try to do."

What's next?: Hamilton is a very proud man and will undoubtedly work hard to get in better shape for next season, but at almost 35 years old and likely playing without Rose and Luol Deng for a big chunk of next year, how effective can he be? Even if he does stay healthy, which seems to be a major stretch at this point, Bulls' management has to be wondering the same thing.

FINAL GRADES: Regular Season: D. Postseason: C.

Hamilton wants to contribute late

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
11:31
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- As Rip Hamilton struggled to free himself from the horde surrounding him in the corner of the Berto Center Monday afternoon, a reporter asked him if he ever thought it would come down to this. Did the 34-year-old who signed with the Chicago Bulls to win a championship ever think that he would be heading into Game 5 of the first round on the verge of elimination?

"I didn't think a whole lot of stuff would happen," the veteran guard said as he strided away.

In one fell swoop, Hamilton may have encapsulated his season, and that of the Bulls, better than anyone.

[+] EnlargeBulls
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireRip Hamilton has spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench recently.
Hamilton thought he had been brought to Chicago to serve as the missing piece to a championship puzzle. Alongside Derrick Rose, he was supposed help push the Bulls to their seventh championship. Now, as the Bulls get set for Game 5 Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, Hamilton found himself answering questions about wanting to be on the floor late. He only played 27 seconds in the fourth quarter in Game 4, as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau stuck with Kyle Korver down the stretch.

"Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do," Hamilton responded in part, deftly pushing the question aside.

In truth, it's killing the veteran that he isn't on the floor late. In the span of just nine days, he's gone from a guy who scored 19 points in Game 1 alongside Rose to a guy who is just 11-for-34 from the field and is now playing without Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (sprained ankle). It's been a whirlwind of bad luck for the Bulls and Hamilton admits that he would like to be out there to help more if given the chance on Tuesday.

"You do [want to be out there]," Hamilton said. "But it is what it is. Like I said before when I came here, whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do. My job is -- if I'm not on the court in the fourth quarter -- is to cheer for the next guy because I know the next guy would do the same thing for me. It's just one of them things where you got to stay in tune with the game."

(Read full post)

No quick fixes in sight

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
9:20
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Poor Rip Hamilton. He gets no burn in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls make him address the media on an off-day.

A day after sitting out the majority of the fourth for the third time in four games of the most depressing series since "Twin Peaks," Hamilton was trotted out as designated veteran to appease a press corps that is ready and willing to give his team their last rites.

"Right now it's live or die," Hamilton said at the Berto Center. "It's win or go home. It makes the game more challenging. It makes it better, I think, because you're not looking to another game. This has to be the game."

Inspired yet?

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Richard Hamilton returns to Bulls

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
11:33
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton's conscientious plan was to avoid taking any direct blows to his right shoulder against the Houston Rockets on Monday.

He had missed the Bulls' last 14 games due to a right shoulder injury, and the last thing he needed to was to take an unnecessary shot to the same place in his first game back.

But luck hasn't been on Hamilton's side all season, and that continued to be the case on Monday.

On the Bulls' first possession, Hamilton got the ball and shot-faked; Courtney Lee bit; and Hamilton's basketball instincts took over as he leaned his right shoulder into the off-balanced Lee while shooting the ball. Lee came right down on Hamilton's right shoulder.

"It was crazy because that was the one play I tried to stay away from -- a pump fake and a jumping into him," Hamilton said. "It was my luck it happened the first play of the game. It woke me up. The good thing about it was I was able to still fight through it. It was kind of like a stinger, a real sharp pain, but I was able to fight through it and still play."

Read the entire story.

No substitute for No. 1

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
11:31
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- Two streaks ended Monday night at the United Center.

Richard Hamilton's (I've lost count of the games) streak of "DNP-Gametime Decision" ended when he actually appeared in the starting lineup for the first time since the Pacers game on March 5.

Luckily, announcer Tommy Edwards remembered his name and didn't call him Alexander Hamilton or Rip Van Winkle.

Despite Hamilton's fairly successful 20-minute guest appearance, the Chicago Bulls' streak of 86 games without consecutive losses, the second-longest in NBA history, ended when the Houston Rockets won, 99-93.

While it was good to see Hamilton play, the streak that really needs to end is Derrick Rose's 11 straight absences. John Lucas and C.J. Watson are capable backups, but this team needs Rose, and fast.

Read the entire story.

Rapid Reaction: Rockets 99, Bulls 93

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
9:32
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Houston Rockets upended the Chicago Bulls 99-93 on Monday night at the United Center.

How it happened: For the second straight game, the Bulls fell flat during big stretches of the second half and they dug themselves too big of a hole to get out of. Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 21 points, Luis Scola added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Marcus Camby had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 24 points but there were too many lapses on defense in the second half for the Bulls to cover up.

What it means: The Bulls don't look like themselves. They look understandably exhausted because of the compressed schedule, but the problems are deeper than that right now. They look flat and aren't playing with the “edge” that players always talk about. They look like a team that just wants the playoffs to start. The problem is that the playoffs are still three weeks away and the Bulls would still like to lock up the No. 1 seed. While the defense is having problems, the starting backcourt, without Derrick Rose, is a concern. Rip Hamilton (who played in his first game in almost a month) and C.J. Watson combined to go 3-for-14 from the field. That isn't going to cut it down the stretch, especially if Rose doesn't come back for another week.

Stats of the night: For first time in almost 14 months, the Bulls lost two regular-season games in a row.

Bold play of the game: With his team hanging onto a four-point lead, Rockets guard Courtney Lee drained a crucial jumper and ended any thoughts of a Bulls' comeback.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off Tuesday before hitting the practice floor on Wednesday afternoon. Their next game is Thursday night against the Boston Celtics.

Rip Hamilton sits out vs. Pistons

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
10:32
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Chicago Bulls guard Rip Hamilton missed his 13th consecutive game due to a shoulder injury Friday, despite indications earlier in the day he might return to the lineup.

Read the entire story.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5