Hinrich, Gibson to start

Guard Kirk Hinrich and forward Taj Gibson will be fixtures in the Chicago Bulls' starting lineup for the foreseeable future.

Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro told reporters after Thursday's practice that Hinrich and Gibson would replace John Salmons and Brad Miller as starters. Del Negro played Hinrich and Gibson together in the lineup in the second half of the team's 88-81 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Del Negro also said that Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas participated in a full practice and is expected to come off the bench on Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets. Thomas suffered a broken arm in the first week of November during a weight-training session.

Asked again about his job security, Del Negro, whose Bulls are 4-13 in their last 17 games, told reporters to refer any questions about his performance to the team's upper management.