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Kirk Hinrich out with back stiffness vs. Magic

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Updated: December 16, 2013 6:27PM



Kirk Hinrich, who had been a game-time decision, was sidelined for the second straight game by a stiff back. That left the point-guard duties to Marquis Teague, whose adjustment to a larger role has not been smooth, and D.J. Augustin, who’s joining his fourth team in three years.

“The big thing is, we hopefully have Kirk back soon, and we go from there,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said when asked if James was cut because the team wants to see what it can get from its two younger playmakers.

MIKE JAMES RELEASED BY BULLS

Signaling that Augustin is an upgrade at point guard, the Bulls cut veteran Mike James on Monday.

``Mike did a great job for us,’’ Thibodeau said. ``We just wanted to keep some flexibility as we move forward.’’

AUGUSTIN ON THE RUN

It’s a bit of a fast break on and off the court for D.J. Augustin. But the Bulls’ latest acquisition has no complaints.

``You have to learn all the plays,’’ said the point guard, who was signed Friday after being cut by Toronto. ``You have to get to know new guys, learn how they play, learn to play with them. And you have to deal with all the family stuff. It’s a tough transition, but I’m having a good time. I love it here. I’m excited.’’

Another assignment for Augustin, who was drafted ninth overall by Charlotte in 2008 coming out of Texas, is to get his wife and daughter, 19-month-old Kailey, settled.

``We’re just trying to find a place,’’ he said. ``It’s Christmastime. We’re trying to make it as Christmas-y as we can for her. It’s a challenge, but I think my wife and I are doing a good job.’’

Augustin, who was drafted ninth overall by Charlotte in 2008, shot only 1 for 7 on Saturday vs. Toronto.

Thibs and Augustin both expect that situation to improve rapidly as Augustin learns the Bulls’ playbook.

``You have to erase all the [terminology] you knew from other teams,’’ he said. ``Most of the plays are the same [from team to team], but they’re different calls. Hopefully, in the next couple of games, I can be where I need to be.’’

EMAIL: hgould@suntimes.com

TWITTER: @herbgould



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