Bulls get ripped in Rip's return

April 02, 2012|RedEye

The day many Bulls might have thought would never happen actually came to pass Monday.

Long-gone shooting guard Richard Hamilton started against the Houston Rockets at the United Center.

While the Bulls didn't look so good when it was all said and done, falling 99-93 for their first back-to-back losses since Feb. 5 and 7, 2011, having Hamilton back on the court had to give fans something to smile about—if only for a short time.

Hamilton was picked up in the offseason to give the Bulls the piece they'd need to get past Miami in the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.

The results were mixed Monday, but Hamilton does have a lot of rust to shake off. Still, he showed Bulls fans the good parts of his game—as well as the bad.

Here are the highlights.

GOOD: On the Bulls' first possession, Hamilton drew a foul on Courtney Lee and split a pair of free-throw shots. Hamilton's ability to draw defensive attention away from Derrick Rose is one of the main reasons he's on this team.

BAD: The contact that drew the foul on Lee caused him to wince, and he rotated his arm afterward in an attempt to loosen up his shoulder. It was a reminder that he's still hurting and one hard hit away from being on the bench again.

GOOD: With 7:36 left in the quarter, Hamilton hit a three-point bomb and followed it up with a runner in the lane. His offense is the other reason Bulls fans should be glad he's back. The Bulls could have used a lot more of it.

GOOD: As the first quarter neared it's end, Hamilton fed Joakim Noah for a dunk that cut Houston's lead to six, showing off his ability to see the floor. The two duplicated the play with about two minutes left in the half.

BAD: Rip attempted a cross-court pass that was picked off by Chandler Parsons and turned into a layup that brought the Rockets to within 10. It was Rip's fifth turnover of the game.

BAD: When the Bulls were trying to make a furious comeback in the fourth, Rip was nowhere to be found. Whether that was because he wasn't physically able to or coach Tom Thibodeau simply chose to use other players, his offense would have been welcomed.

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