Take away the incredible 142 points scored in the Chicago Bulls’ triple overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their opening round series, and you have a severely lacking Bulls offense. With those numbers out of the equation, Chicago is averaging just 88.9 points per game during these playoffs, worked up mostly against a Nets team that has major issues defensively. Kirk Hinrich, signed last summer to hold down the fort while Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery, has been out since that Game 4 with a calf injury. Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli, onetime end-of-the-bench guys, have had to play the hero. Daequan Cook is getting significant minutes in the second round. Chicago needs offensive help, badly.
And through it all, a shooting guard who used to routinely average over 19 points per game sits on the bench. Richard Hamilton has played just over ten minutes during this year’s postseason, and this is coming off of a regular season that saw the 2004 NBA champion start 45 out of the 50 contests he played with Chicago. After a disastrous run in the first game of Chicago’s postseason run (Hamilton turned the ball over, missed two shots, and a miscommunication with teammate Nate Robinson led to another turnover for Nate), Hamilton has been handed “Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision”-status in seven of the team’s eight subsequent games.
COMMENTARY | Maybe Daequan Cook's best days are behind him. Or, as his youth and limited use in the NBA thus far would suggest, perhaps they are yet to come. After signing Cook to a deal announced on Sunday, the Chicago Bulls will soon find out.
The Scoop:Cook played 16 games for the Houston Rockets this season before being released Thursday. He averaged 3.4 points in 10.3 minutes. Cook was the 21st pick in the 2007 draft out of Ohio State by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Miami Heat. He has also played for the Oklahoma City Thunder.