The Consistent Captain: The Pros And Cons Of Kirk Hinrich

Kirk Hinrich, seen here with the older brother of the rookie guard he'll be asked to mentor in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Cunningham NBAE/ via Getty Images)

For many Bulls fans the acquisition of former Bull Kirk Hinrich was no big deal. The Bulls seem to have made another boring move that is nothing more than great PR, but there is much more to the Hinrich deal than that. Bulls fans need to understand that this move wasn’t made to make our team win; it was made to make our team not lose.

Hinrich, now 31, is no longer the promising young guard that the Bulls drafted in 2003. And yet he really hasn’t lost much of what made him important. Hinrich has always been known as a great defender, great passer, and (his most recent role), seasoned veteran. His great defense is not measurable strictly in numbers, but his 1.1 steals per 36 minutes last year shows that at the very least he is consistent. At 6-4 Hinrich will still be a tough match-up for a lot of point guards in today’s game despite his less than elite quickness. Age doesn’t affect height.

Hinrich spent the last four seasons on teams where he simply didn’t fit. This contributed to his declining play. After 2008 his scoring averages gradually decreased, culminating with a miniscule 6.6 points per game last year in Atlanta. In a backcourt with Joe Johnson it is very hard to find shots for yourself. Hinrich won’t have those problems on the Bulls, and fans can expect to see around 10 points per game.

The other thing that Hinrich brings to the table is unquestioned efficiency. Say what you will about him, but his career true shooting percentage is 52%. That high percentage is due to his near 81% from the foul line, 38% from the three-point line, and 41% from the field. The poor field goal percentage is not a red flag because while Hinrich can find shots on the Bulls he won’t force shots, knowing he has better options at his disposal.

Hinrich will perfectly fill the role of stopgap point guard, but he will also greatly impact the team’s future. While the Bulls will definitely give Hinrich more minutes than rookie Marquis Teague, they will expect Hinrich to pass some of his knowledge on to the young and impressionable Kentucky guard. With Hinrich’s help Teague could get much better in the two areas he most needs help in: shooting efficiency and turnovers. Along with that great shooting percentage Hinrich averaged 5.4 assists per game compared to only two turnovers. While on the floor Hinrich has assisted on close to 27% of his team’s field goals, so you can expect to see him keep the offense running properly. If Teague can learn a fraction of what Hinrich knows now, he will be that much better when it is his time to shine.

– by Michael Walton II



Written by truestar


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