Chicago Bulls guard Rip Hamilton has a simple message as his team prepares for tonight’s Game 3 of their opening round Eastern Conference series with the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.
“We just have to get better,” Hamilton said before the Bulls morning shootaround.
In Chicago’s opening 103-91 win over the Sixers, Hamilton had 19 points on an efficient 6 of 7 from the field (1-1 from beyond the arc) and 6-of-6 from the foul line.
That was the game where Derrick Rose suffered his season-ending knee injury.
Without Rose, the Bulls suffered a 109-92 loss on Tuesday.
In that game the Sixers outscored the Bulls 36-14.
“That was one of the worst quarters we played all season and they played well and they didn’t miss any shots,” Hamilton said. “We are very upset at the way the game went.”
In that second game, Hamilton scored 10 points, shooting 4 of 10 from the field.
He said that he can’t go in with the mindset of trying to pick up the scoring pace in Rose’s absence.
“You can’t be in a conscious effort to shoot, shoot, shoot,” hes aid. “They are trapping every time so you have to figure a way to get your teammates involved and that opens things up.”
Hamilton, a product of Coatesville High, says it’s always a big deal for him to play in Philadelphia.
“It’s fun and exciting,” Hamilton said. “The whole year most of my family doesn’t get the opportunity to see me play and to get the opportunity to see me play especially in the playoffs at a high level, it is always exciting.”