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Chicago Bulls: Why Rip Hamilton Will Ruin the Bulls' Chemistry in the Playoffs

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 24:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Toronto Raptors at the United Center on March 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Raptors 102-101 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Bob BajekAnalyst IIIMarch 28, 2012

The Chicago Bulls are rolling right now without shooting guard Richard Hamilton, so having him back in the playoffs if he doesn't play any more regular season games would ruin the Bulls' chemistry since he has been out for so long.

Hamilton, 34, has been out with various injuries ranging from his left groin and left shoulder. These injuries have caused him to miss 35 games and counting.

The Bulls brought Hamilton in with a three-year, $15 million contract in the hopes that the former Detroit Pistons star would be the missing link in Chicago's NBA Finals run.

However, how could Hamilton help the Bulls if he is constantly on the pinewood?

The Bulls had to go to their bench and summon reserve swingman Ronnie Brewer to fill in for Hamilton in the starting lineup. Brewer is a great defender who has more offensive presence than former Bull Keith Bogans did.

Bogans averaged 4.4 points to Brewer's 7.8, with Brewer posting double-digit totals in 16 games.

Bulls swingman Kyle Korver has also seen more action and is hitting his shots. Korver has 17 games where he has scored 10 or more points.

Another surprise has been Bulls rookie swingman Jimmy Butler, a tough defender who has a good jumper and can finish strong around the rim.

Hamilton will miss more games this year with the postseason approaching. The veteran would be cold while Brewer and Korver have been playing well in their expanded roles.

The Bulls would make a mistake to pull back Brewer and Korver when they are contributing to Chicago's vast success.

Stat wise, the Bulls have done well without Hamilton. The Bulls are 27-8 without him and are finding ways to win.

A player need to have good rhythm with his teammates in order to be effective in the postseason.. Hamilton and the Bulls haven't had time to develop this necessity as the  Connecticut alum hasn't stayed healthy.

It's looking more likely with each passing day that the Bulls are saving Hamilton for the playoffs even though he appears healthy enough to play. Hamilton needs to play at least 10 or more regular-season games to get his conditioning back and reestablish his court connection with his teammates.

The Bulls' court chemistry will be disrupted in the postseason if Hamilton returns without being given regular-season playing time.

 

Bob Bajek is a Chicago Bulls/NBA Featured Columnist. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on Patch.com and Twitter.

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