Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Alumni Profile: Rip Hamilton

Looking Back:  It was supposed to be Rip Hamilton’s year to remerge on the big stage.  He was leaving behind a mess in Detroit and was on a team with Championship aspirations.  In fact, the team looked just like the one that had so much success in Detroit.  They had a clutch point guard, a tough nosed center, and a versatile power forward.  Everything was lined up for Rip to take the Bulls to the next level, but his body had other plans.  He struggled, like so many other veterans, in the shortened schedule format and an  injury marred much of the season.  When he was finally healthy, his championship hopes fell apart because of a major injury to Derek Rose.   The Bulls couldn’t recover and were bounced from the Playoffs in the first round.

The Good:  There is still plenty left in the tank for Rip.  He is a devastatingly good mid-ranged shooter, a non-stop worker off the screens, and plays tight defense without fouling.  He is a great compliment to Rose’s style and his motor is impeccable.  He is a great closer in ballgames and his experience in tough playoff games makes him a valuable asset.  He is also a great free throw shooter that can seal a game at the line in close ballgames.

The Bad:  It has to start with his health.  He had such a hard time making it through last season that it leaves questions as to how much can his body endure.  He doesn’t have an above the rim game and he needs to be more physical on defense because he isn’t as fast as he used to be.

Looking Ahead:  There are too many unknowns to know how Rip’s season will go.  If he can stay healthy, if Rose returns to form, and if the Bulls stay in contention then Rip should get the minutes and produce.  Time isn’t on Rip’s side and he needs to have a great showing to put the Detroit debacle behind him and sure up his legacy.

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