Belinelli to start at SG for injured Hamilton

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
11:45
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Marco Belinelli will start in place of injured Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

Hamilton tore the plantar fascia in his left foot in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. He is out for an indefinite amount of time.

"I just think it fits best right now," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of the move. "Nothing's etched in stone, but he's played well and Jimmy (Butler's) played well coming off the bench. We'll see how it goes."

Thibodeau acknowledged that one of the reasons behind elevating Belinelli is because he is comfortable with Butler coming in with the second unit, usually alongside Taj Gibson.

"That group's played really well together, and they're starting to build some chemistry," Thibodeau said. "So that was a big part of it."

Whether Belinelli is starting or coming off the bench, both players will play more minutes than usual as Hamilton recovers. Thibodeau also noted that he may decide to shift veteran guard Kirk Hinrich over to the two spot at some point, which would likely give Nate Robinson even more minutes.

"A lot of it will be based on matchups, too," Thibodeau said.

Belinelli is just happy to get the opportunity. He has struggled badly at times this season, but said he feels "a lot" more comfortable in Thibodeau's system.

"I remember the first time (I came here) I was nervous about my defense, about my offense, too," Belinelli said. "A lot of plays, everything, new guy on the team. But right now I'm good. , I love the team, I love coach, I love the organization, I love the fans, so it's just perfect. I'm going to try and do my best to win the game."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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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