By David Schuster-

(CBS) As expected, Richard Hamilton will play and start for the Bulls tonight in their second and final preseason game.

Hamilton has gone through only five practices with the team and is excited for tonight’s contest.

“I think it’s a great chance to get out there with the guys and play in a game situation,” he said at Tuesday’s shootaround. “I haven’t played in a game since last season so it will be good to get out there with the guys and learn each other and things like that.”

Make no mistake about it, Hamilton will not only start tonight, but the regular season as well. One of the main reasons he was brought here is to take pressure off of Derrick Rose on the offensive end of the court. You don’t replace Keith Bogans with Ronnie Brewer who won’t give you much more scoring then Bogans did. Hamilton will command defensive attention, which will only make everyone else in the starting unit better. And Brewer then stays on the second unit, which will be even more important this season because the league is playing the 66 games in such a compressed matter. Teams will obviously get tired due to the schedule so the deeper teams will have a decided advantage.

Hamilton says don’t expect too much right off the bat from him because building chemistry is a work in process.

“I’m still learning,” he said. “I’m more comfortable and every day I feel I’m getting better.”

Hamilton says he’ll have some nervous tension tonight but knows he’ll be accepted by Bulls fans.

“A lot of fans have already come up to me and said I used to hate you but now I love you. I’m just happy to be on this side of the fence now and give the fans something to cheer about,” the guard said.

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