Talk about your weight-loss programs.
Much was made of Hinrich's decision to pull out of his national team commitment this summer to concentrate on his wedding and hitting the weights hard.
But anyone thinking the Bulls' ability to use larger lineups this season will allow Hinrich to defend strictly his preferred assignment of point guards should remember the Bulls' 100-92 victory over the Mavericks could be the exception, not necessarily the rule.
"Until some guy emerges who can guard the other team's best guard at least close to how Kirk does, we're still playing with fire if we don't have Kirk on him," coach Scott Skiles said.
"Kirk's an all-league defender now. So on one night, it will be Chris Paul, a point guard. Another night, it could be Michael Redd, a shooting guard. Kirk will be on the best guard."
Hinrich can handle it, as he showed in working to slow Harris, who shot 1 of 7.
Hinrich, whose goal this season is for the coaches to vote him first-team All-Defense, typically wears down and loses weight as the season progresses. He now finally is admitting the 2006 Team USA commitment had him dragging by last season's playoffs.
"Weights have been a big part of my summer from the time I was in college," Hinrich said. "And last summer, I hardly did anything because I was running crazy and run down from the practicing and playing with the USA team.
"Looking back at it, it affected me. Hopefully this year, I'll be able to avoid those lapses."
Undrafted rookie free agent Thomas Gardner, again starting for the injured Ben Gordon, had another solid outing in his quest to claim the 15th roster spot with a non-guaranteed deal.
"This group moves the ball well, so I was pleased with that," Skiles said, referring to the Bulls' 25 assists. "Plus, I think the young guys are getting some good experience."
Layups Gordon tested his sore left ankle at the morning shootaround and sat for the second straight game. "I don't want to push it," Gordon said. … Joe Smith (swelling in his right knee), also sat after participating in the United Center shootaround. While understanding Smith's desire to practice before playing, Skiles also hoped the veteran could play soon because of the Bulls' style of play. "You just hope when he gets green-lighted, he can get acclimated." … Thabo Sefolosha (strained right hamstring) and Adrian Griffin (sore back) also sat. … The Bulls offered a moment of silence for late Blackhawks president Bill Wirtz.