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Ronnie Brewer is Bulls’ most versatile player

Ronnie Brewer started small forward had 20 points 10 rebounds five assists against Pacers. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Ronnie Brewer started at small forward and had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against the Pacers. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 27, 2012 9:59AM



When shooting guard Rip Hamilton was out with a groin injury, Ronnie Brewer started in his place. Now that small forward Luol Deng is sidelined with a torn ligament in his left wrist, Brewer once again gets the starting nod.

Brewer made his first start of the season at small forward and had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while also being active on the defensive end.

“All that goes out the window when you get the ‘L’ in that column,” Brewer said of his individual performance. “I would’ve liked to have gotten the win, but I’ve got to do more.”

Brewer was matched up Wednesday against the Pacers’ Danny Granger, who had 22 points and nine rebounds.

“What Ronnie has shown is that whether he’s starting for Rip or starting for Luol — and he’s started a number of games in this league — is he can handle starting,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He handles coming off the bench. I thought last year him coming off the bench was a great asset.

‘‘I value greatly what a guy like that can bring coming off the bench. In some ways, I do miss what he brings off the bench, but I also like what he does as a starter. It’s a tribute to him and his versatility.”

Brewer worked hard to extend his range during the offseason and entered the game shooting
50 percent on three-pointers.

“I’m going to have to try and do what I’ve been doing since I’ve been with the Bulls, and that’s hustle on both ends of the court, run the floor, be a tough defender,” Brewer said. “Tonight we have a tough matchup trying to guard Granger. These upcoming games, you have a lot of tough guys that we’re going to face.

“I’m just going to come in here and try to do my part and be an energy spark for this team.”

Injury update

Forward Taj Gibson (sprained left ankle) missed his third game in a row but has been running in practice and hopes to return Friday against the Bucks at the United Center or possibly Sunday, when the Heat hosts the Bulls in Miami.

Gibson sprained his ankle in the second quarter of a blowout victory Friday in Cleveland after coming down on Antawn Jamison’s foot.

Guard John Lucas III said he has recovered fully from a groin injury and is available to play.

Bulls rank third

The Bulls are the NBA’s third most valuable franchise, according to Forbes.com.

The website values the Bulls at $511 million, which isn’t bad con­sidering Jerry Reinsdorf bought the team for $16 million in 1985.

The Knicks were ranked first at $655 million. The Lakers were third at $643 million, and the Bucks were 30th at $258 million.

Contributing: Seth Gruen



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