Chicago Sun-Times

Rip vs. Pacers is game-time decision

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Because Tom Thibodeau spoke with reporters before Friday's shoot-around at Canseco Fieldhouse, he still wasn't sure whether new acquisition Rip Hamilton would play in the exhibition opener against the Pacers on Friday night.

"We'll see after the shootaround," he said. "We have to sit down. He had a good practice yesterday. We'll see how he feels and make a decision prior to the game."

Ronnie Brewer may be having the best training camp of any player not named Derrick Rose. Thibodeau said once the regular season begins he will be comfortable with either Brewer starting and Hamilton coming off the bench or vice versa.

"Ronnie has played terrific," Thibodeau said of Brewer. "He played great for us at the end of last year, so he's a critical part of our team. Who starts, who comes off the bench, I'm not quite sure yet, we'll see how that goes. We're going to do what's best for the team."

Thibodeau did say say Brewer would start opposite Rose against the Pacers.

"I also want to see Ronnie with the second unit some," he said. "That group played extremely well. We want to look at some different combinations."

Thibodeau said he expects to play his starters for the first 10 minutes of the game. Then he wants to get rookie Jimmy Butler and other bench players involved.

"I want to play Jimmy some," he said. "I want to see him in action. They won't play a normal rotation. But they will play a good amount of minutes. We have to be ready for the 25th."

Meanwhile, don't expect Rose to be cruising even if the outcome of tonight's game is meaningless.

"This is a regular game to us," he said. "We're not going to approach it lackadaisical. We know it's time to get better. We can use this time to go out there and add chemistry. We added Rip, we got Jimmy, the starting five hadn't played together against anybody in a long time. We can use this time to our advantage."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 16, 2011 10:46 AM.

Rip Hamilton believes he fits well with Bulls was the previous entry in this blog.

Derrick Rose willing to sit for good of team is the next entry in this blog.

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