Chicago Sun-Times

Rip to start; Williams says UC not the same

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Rip Hamilton returned to the starting lineup in Tuesday night's game against the Hornets at the United Center after playing only 11 games this season after trying to come back too soon from thigh and groin injuries.

Hamilton has not played more than five straight games for the Bulls this season.

"It's a long time to be off," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's only played in 11 games. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off."

With Hamilton in the starting lineup, the projected Bulls starters from the preseason were together for the first time since Jan. 4.

"He's just one more guy you have to account for," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "He's won a championship and he's won big games. All you have to say is Rip and it's self explanatory."

Williams went on to say that while he is impressed with what the Bulls have done since Derrick Rose arrived, the atmosphere at the United Center doesn't compare to the Michael Jordan years.

"I don't think it's even close to that yet," said Williams. "They do a really good job here and they're on their way but I played against Jordan and [Scottie] Pippen and [Dennis] Rodman. That was a different beast. If you didn't watch yourself, when they called out Jordan's name you kind of got caught up in it. There's a little bit of that with Rose but it's not the same. You have to win a title first and make this a tough place to play from that standpoint. It's a tough place to play anyway but when you have a title it separates you. That's the difference."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 28, 2012 7:03 PM.

Rip Hamilton discusses grandmother's death, injury was the previous entry in this blog.

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