Hinrich won't defend Deron Williams tonight. (AP)
With the Brooklyn Nets’ inaugural season hanging in the balance, some important news has broken from Chicago: Kirk Hinrich is out for Game 5 tonight. Out with a bruised left calf, Hinrich was seen sporting a walking boot and moving with a noticeable limp today.
Hinrich poured in a crucial 18 points and 14 assists in Chicago’s triple overtime winner against Brooklyn on Saturday to go up 3-1 in the series. Most importantly, he has frustrated Deron Williams all series relentlessly with tough, tight defense. The loss of Hinrich throws a wrinkle into the Bulls’ defensive strategy: With the constant use of offensively challenged players like Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans, the Bulls have loaded up on Williams and Lopez, often double teaming with Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng whenever possible.
On one hand, Kirk Hinrich being unavailable should make Nets fan wildly grin; without him, Deron Williams should have a huge offensive advantage. However, does this mean we’ll see 48 minutes of the man, the myth, the legend Nate Robinson? In perhaps one of the greatest NBA playoff performances of all-time, Robinson brought the Bulls back from 14 points down in three minutes with a wild assortment of three-pointers, assists and running bankshots.
With Hinrich out, it certainly means that Nate Robinson will get the majority of the point guard minutes tonight. So the question remains: would you rather go against Hinrich's defense or Nate’s offense?