The Bulls are keeping a close eye on Richard Hamilton's minutes this season in an attempt to prevent a recurrence of his 2011 injury problems. Hamilton is playing just over 26 minutes per game this year after he appeared in only 28 of the Bulls' 66 games last season. While most players would be upset about getting their minutes restricted, Rip understands the situation:
"We just want to always be careful about it," Hamilton said. "Whatever he needs from me, I'll be there. It's not like we go back and forth with it. He just knows I'm ready for whatever."
Hamilton seems to think that if he remains healthy as the season progresses, his minutes will start to go up:
"I feel good and my offensive rhythm is pretty good," Hamilton said. "As the season goes on, I usually get better just playing more and stuff like that. I felt I had a pretty good preseason so it allowed me to come in with a nice rhythm."
Hamilton is shooting 45 percent from the field this season, which is right in line with his career average. He's averaging 13.0 points, 2.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game this year. The 13 points is well below his career average of 17.4, but for a player seeing reduced minutes in his 14th NBA season, it's still pretty good.
The Bulls next game is on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.