Richard Hamilton is feeling comfortable with the Bulls.
Not completely with his teammates yet, that’s a work in progress (albeit one that is making great strides). No, Hamilton is comfortable with the expectations in Chicago — title expectations.
“I love it because this is what it’s supposed to be,” Hamilton said after he had 16 points to help the Bulls knock off the Clippers 114-101 Friday night. “When I was in Detroit, my first seven or eight years, we won every night. It was all about winning. To get the opportunity to get back in that groove, that’s home for me.”
Like those Pistons teams, these Bulls are about defense first.
“I really like the way he is playing defensively,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s back to really competing. He’s shown that he can guard point guards….
“Offensively I think he’s starting to get more comfortable. He’s learning his teammates, his teammates are learning him.”
Thibodeau has gone back to his Celtics days to come up with plays for Rip, one of the better midrange shooters in the league. Chicago is running some of the same plays for Rip that Boston runs for Ray Allen.
Hamilton’s not as efficient on offense as he was five years ago, but already you can see where his ability to have plays called for him and to find spaces in the defense where Rose can hit him with a pass is already taking some scoring pressure off the MVP. He’s quickly blending in.
Still, it’s an adjustment.
“I’m getting better, I’m getting better,” Hamilton said. “I’m not where I want to be, but every game I get a little better. Like I said we didn’t have a training camp or anything like that, so every day is a learning adjustment…
“I think guys are learning my game, I’m learning theirs,” Hamilton said.