Hinrich to miss Game 5 vs. Nets with injury
by Erick Smith, USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bulls will attempt to close out the Nets in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series Monday in Brooklyn without starting guard Kirk Hinrich.
The veteran bruised his calf in a 142-134 triple-overtime victory Saturday that gave Chicago a 3-1 lead — he played 60 minutes — and his return for the series is uncertain.
Hinrich showed up at shootaround Monday wearing a walking boot and moving with a noticeable limp. He played to the finish in Game 4, contributing 18 points and a playoff career-high 14 assists.
“It’s real disappointing. You never want to miss playoff games,” Hinrich told reporters Monday. “Any time it’s hard, but especially in the playoffs, because that’s what you look forward to all year. It’s going to be hard to sit out and watch.”
Already without Derrick Rose, who is still not ready to play after a knee injury in last year’s playoffs, the Bulls are thin in the backcourt without Hinrich. Since Jan. 1, the team is 5-13 without him, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The injury will open up more playing time for Nate Robinson, who scored 34 points in 28 minutes Saturday, including 23 in the fourth quarter that rallied Chicago from a 14-point deficit late in the game to force overtime.