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Hamilton's usage draws questions in Chicago

DEERFIELD, ILL -It's pretty interesting what's going on in Chicago with Coatesville native Richard Hamilton.

Signed to a two-year deal in December to give the Bulls some serious punch at the two guard (last season the Bulls got nothing at that position), Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau's use of the player has come under question two games deep into the playoffs.

Hamilton showed his value in Game 1, making 6-of-7 field goals and finishing with 19 points as the Bulls cruised, 103-91.

Hamilton got off to a good start in Game 2. However, over the last three quarters of the game Hamilton played just 10 minutes and didn't see the floor in the fourth quarter. Instead, Thibodeau went with ex-Sixers Kyle Korver against the Sixers' smaller lineup.

Thibodeau said on Thursday that Hamilton isn't in the doghouse or anything. However, he didn't give him a ringing endorsement for the rest of the series.

"It's just our rotation," he said. "Whenever you move somebody into something else you are taking somebody out, so who are you taking out? Both unites have done the job for the most part. But our starting unit didn't play well and our bench didn't play well.

Asked if he might play the two together when the Sixers go small, Thibodeau also talked about not wanting to take minutes from Luol Deng. Deng finished Game 2 with eight points. He was awful in the second half, making 1 of 5 shots and scoring just two points.

"Then you're talking about are you taking Luol out? Are you taking Kyle out? Who are you taking out? You have to remember they're very small too," Thibodeau said.

Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer