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Marko Jaric looks like a long shot for Bulls

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer had game-high 24 points Friday night against Timberwolves. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer had a game-high 24 points Friday night against the Timberwolves. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

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Updated: November 21, 2012 6:15AM



Guard Marko Jaric has an ending in mind.

Just not the one that’s playing out with the Bulls these days.

“I’m definitely at a big path in my basketball,’’ Jaric said Friday.

Entering his eighth NBA season, the 34-year-old Serbian star is in a nasty numbers game as he tries to make the Bulls’ roster. He played only 52 seconds in the 92-81 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“All I’m thinking is just get my legs back, get in the best shape I can and try to show Coach [Tom Thibodeau] and this organization how I can help them,’’ Jaric said. “That’s the thing I’m most considering. If I can show them what I can do and how I can help them, after that, it will be up to them.

“I can’t get [ticked off] at myself. I know as long as I do everything I can, that’s all I can do. There are some things I can’t control.

‘‘But it’s a great organization, great team that is going to win, so we’ll see.’’

Jaric has been in the news for the wrong reasons lately, riling up the English soccer world with his tweets in the last week.

And while it’s nice to be the husband of Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima, adding “Bench Mob’’ member to his résumé wouldn’t be bad. But it’s an uphill climb that’s getting steeper. Thibodeau showed his hand in the fifth preseason game by using a rotation that went six deep on the bench.

Jaric, Vladimir Radmanovic and Ryan Allen weren’t included.

“I want [Jaric] to play to his strengths,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s hard-playing; he defends three positions well; he’s smart; he can help you execute.

‘‘He’s done a good job. He’s a tough competitor, and I like that about him.’’

Like Jaric, Radmanovic also is out of the rotation.

“We’re still looking at different things,’’ Thibodeau said of Radmanovic. “I like his versatility. He’s long, athletic, much more athletic than you would think, and he’s skilled. He can shoot the ball and put it on the floor. Defensively, he’s got to do better.’’

The victory improved the Bulls’ record to 3-2 with two preseason games left, but Thibodeau wants more.

“You always think you can do better,’’ Thibodeau said. “I like the way we’re practicing right now, and that’s the first step.

‘‘I like our approach, I like how unselfish we are right now, but there are still so many things we have to improve on.’’

Specifically, being consistent in the fourth quarter, which was a problem again.

Forward Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with a game-high 24 points, and shooting guard Rip Hamilton continued his solid preseason, scoring 15 and handing out five assists.

“We’re moving in the right direction,’’ Thibodeau said, “but we’re nowhere near where we need to be.’’



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