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Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich likely out for Game 6 vs. Nets

Updated: May 2, 2013 5:55PM



Kirk Hinrich was hoping the extra time between Games 5 and 6 would be enough to help heal the bruised left calf, at least enough for the Bulls veteran point guard to get back into the starting lineup.

After Thursday afternoon’s shootaround, it sounded like time ran out.

Hinrich was ruled “most likely’’ out for what will be a second-consecutive elimination game for Brooklyn in the best-of-seven series tonight at the United Center.

The bad news didn’t stop there for coach Tom Thibodeau, who to no surprise ruled Derrick Rose out, but also said that Luol Deng and Taj Gibson again missed the practice session with flu-like symptoms. Both were game-time decisions.

“If you’re relying on hope or homecourt, those are the wrong things,’’ Thibodeau said. “You have to rely on the work and what goes into winning. Those are the important things. I feel good about our team. We have a lot of guys who have stepped up all year. Everyone has to be ready.’’

Thibodeau just wouldn’t say specifically who would have to be ready to start. Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler are written in ink, as is Deng if he can recover, but will it be Nate Robinson at the point or could he go with Marco Belinelli. Robinson is the logical answer, but he could have Butler still guard Nets point guard Deron Williams.

“You have to be mentally tough when you face adversity,’’ Thibodeau said. “We talk about that all the time. We have to respond to the challenge. We’re more than capable. It’s going to be a tough, hard-fought game. And we’ve got to put the sweat into it.’’

If the Bulls can’t get it done, it then moves Game 7 back to Brooklyn on Saturday. Not exactly the scenario the Bulls players want.

“Definitely,’’ Butler said of wanting to end the series at home. “You want to win as many games in the least amount of days as you can. More rest that you get obviously. Of course you want to win at home, end it at home, home crowd, home team, but we can’t let the home be our reason. We have to want it whether it was at home or on the road. I feel like it’s still going to be a dogfight out there and the toughest team is going to win.’’

Both Deng and Gibson were at the Berto Center for the shootaround, and if they feel better, will be briefed on the game plan tonight before the game.

Asked how the two looked this morning, Butler responded, “They looked the same way they do every day – Lu is dark-skinned, Taj is bald.’’



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