The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Hinrich Suspension Adds to Bulls' Roster Woes

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 15, 2010 7:30PM

Photo via
It's been a while since the likes of Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkins had to fill dual roles as player-coaches, but the Bulls just might need Vinny Del Negro to trade in his suits for shorts this week. Kirk Hinrich will be forced to miss Tuesday's game after being suspended one game by the league for making contact with an official after he was ejected from Friday night's game against Miami.

Being without Hinrich's services against the Grizzlies couldn't come at a worse time for the Bulls, who are currently mired in a seven-game losing streak. A rash of injuries to a number of the Bulls' key players have hindered the team of late. Derrick Rose left Thursday night's game against the Magic in the first half with a sprained wrist and missed Friday night's game against the Heat. Rose didn't practice over the weekend, and his status for Tuesday remains unknown. Luol Deng also missed both games of the Florida swing, due to a calf injury. Center Joakim Noah, suffering from plantar fasciitis, has missed seven straight games and 14 of the past 18. Meanwhile, Brad Miller has continued to play despite his own bumps and bruises.

So will the Bulls be forced to play Tuesday night's game without their top four players? Unfortunately, that's looking entirely possible. Guys buried at the bottom of the bench have been thrust into the lineup while those players acquired primarily for their expiring contracts are being forced into regular rotation. Ever the optimist, coach Del Negro said, "You have to battle through it all. Luckily, nothing is major. There's hope we can get everyone back here in the next four days, three days, five days, a week. As soon as we can get everyone together, hopefully we can get on the same page quickly again and get back to playing the way we're capable of." But with the Bulls quickly slipping out of playoff contention, that may be too late to salvage 2010.