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Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich unlikely to play against Pacers

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

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Updated: November 27, 2012 11:09AM

Coach Tom Thibodeau said guard Kirk Hinrich (right groin) didn’t participate in practice Thursday.

Hinrich is unlikely to play Friday against the Pacers in South Bend, Ind.

“Little better, but didn’t do much [Thursday],’’ Thibodeau said. “Just spot-shooting for him. Bike and shot.’’

Thibodeau called Hinrich a game-time decision, but the reality is that he’d likely rest him and make sure he’s ready for the regular-season opener against the Kings on Halloween night.

That means a whole lot of Nate Robinson with rookie Marquis Teague ready to get more minutes.

“If you’re here, you can play,’’ Thibodeau said of the current makeup of his roster. “Through the course of a long NBA season, everyone is going to be called upon. If they’re called upon, they have to be ready. And you never know when it comes. It could be [Friday night] in the fourth quarter; it could be the first game of the season. Whenever it might be, I expect them to get in there and get the job done for us.’’

The Paxson Bowl

Considering Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson played his college ball at Notre Dame, no one was surprised that the Bulls would play their last preseason game in South Bend.

“Looking forward to it,’’ Thibodeau said. “It’s the ‘John Paxson Game.’ It’s a beautiful campus, and we’re looking forward to going up there.’’

Starting five

With Hinrich likely out, Thibodeau will start Robinson, Rip Hamilton, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.

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