After reviewing the video, it wasn’t exactly a “Soylent Green is people!” moment to find out that Kirk Hinrich didn’t intend to do any “brushing” of referee Bennie Adams after his suspension on Friday night.
“I was following him, I was still upset. Then he turned, stuck his elbow out and kind of bumped into me. Then I realized I better leave. I was following him. But, I feel like … I don’t know what was going through his head or anything like that. But he stops. Stuck his shoulder and elbow out and the contact was made. I don’t even know why that’s why I’m suspended. If it’s because of contact or what. I haven’t really been told yet. I’m going to try and find out more [Sunday] afternoon, but there’s nothing really I can do about it.”
Nope. Nothing at all. But now the Bulls will be without their starting SG for Tuesday night’s game against the Grizzlies in Memphis. And the status of Derrick Rose — who didn’t attent pratice today — is still uncertain.
Said Bulls el capitan Vinny Del Negro: “Derrick went through a couple loosening drills, non-contact. He’s a little better, but he’s still got some soreness, some strength issues. We’ll get him some therapy, get him some rest, see how he feels [Monday]. Hopefully he can practice a little bit, but [Monday] will determine that.”
What a mess.
The Bulls are currently 1.5 games out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot (and 2.5 games out of the sixth and seventh spots). There are 17 games remaining…which means Chicago still has a reasonable chance to make the postseason. However, the margin of error keeps getting smaller.
Schedule check: The Bulls’ next three games — at Memphis, at Dallas, and then at home against the Cavaliers — are going to be tough (although the Mavs did just get killed at home by the Knicks). But then the Bulls have several games against awful teams (including two against the Nets and one each against the Pistons, Sixers, and Wizards) and several against fellow playoff hopefuls (including two against the Bobcats and one each against the Bucks, Heat, and Raptors).
So, realistically, if the Bulls can weather the story of what could turn out to be — gulp! — a nine or 10-game losing streak, they still have a solid opportunity to make up some ground during their stretch run.
The biggest obstacle to a postseason run is health.
Said Vinny: “It’s difficult. But it’s out of your hands. You’ve just got to go with what’s thrown at you. The cards that you’re dealt, you’ve got to deal with them. We’ve had some tough cards and some tough things happen to us. But you’ve got to battle through it. Luckily, nothing’s major. Where there’s some hope we can get everyone back here in the next four days, three days, five days, a week. I don’t know what it is yet. But as soon as we can get everybody together, hopefully we can get on the same page quickly again and get back to playing the way we’re capable of.”