After coming off the bench for his first two games, new Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich will make his first start Wednesday night at Philips Arena. He’ll do it against his old team, the Chicago Bulls.
Hinrich won’t have the benefit of having forward Josh Smith in the lineup, however. Smith, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against Denver Monday, tried to practice at the Wednesday morning shootaround but was in too much pain.
Since acquiring Hinrich in a trade that sent Mike Bibby to Washington last Wednesday, coach Larry Drew had been starting Jeff Teague to give Hinrich time to acclimate. Drew said he felt Hinrich had learned enough of the team’s plays and defensive schemes to start.
“I want him to get acclimated as fast as he can,” Drew said. “He’s going to be my starting point, so I kind of want to throw him not the fire and get him into a role that he’s going to be in for the remainder of the season.”
Hinrich missed the Denver game with a sore right
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