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Rip Hamilton looks strong in opener for Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton got off to a good start for the Chicago Bulls in the season opener.

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton put in a strong performance in the Bulls' 93-87 season opening victory over the Sacramento Kings. He scored 19 points in the win and played 31 minutes. Hamilton suffered from injuries last year, missing 38 of 66 games, and often struggled on the court.

Last season, in 28 games, Hamilton averaged only 11.6 points in 24.9 minutes per game. Hamilton was hurt much of the season but said "that's in the past."

Hamilton focused on getting healthy during the offseason and coach Tom Thibodeau believes the work has paid off. Thibodeau knows that a healthy Hamilton is a weapon for the Bulls, saying, "whenever he plays, he is effective. The problem was missing 38 games. He never really got into a rhythm."

With Derrick Rose out of the lineup for a while as he recovers from knee surgery the Bulls know they will need balanced scoring on offense. Hamilton is comfortable in a balanced attack, having spent most of his career in a Detroit Pistons offense that had several scoring options.