Fittest loser
Article updated: 3/14/2011 10:40 PM

Thibobeau willing to help Rose MVP campaign

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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau offered to lend his support if it will help Derrick Rose win the NBA's most valuable player award this season.

Thibodeau doesn't think Rose needs much help, but he is willing to step in as campaign manager if needed.

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"I think his play does all the speaking," Thibodeau said. "I think when you study what he's done, how he's performed all season, what he's done for our team -- I don't think you have to do a lot of stumping for him.

"But if that's what's required, then I'll be more than willing to do it."

Maybe Thibodeau can author a fake Twitter account, since Rose doesn't have a real one, and that tactic didn't stop Rahm Emanuel from getting elected mayor of Chicago.

"All you have to do is watch. If you're watching and you're studying, you see what he's done," Thibodeau said. "He's been consistent. He keeps getting better and better. He's driven to be great. The thing that's more important to him is his team doing well."

Thibodeau, himself a strong candidate for coach of the year, also threw his support behind Luol Deng for the all-defensive team.

"I think he deserves it," Thibodeau said. "I think a lot of guys deserve things on our team. I think when you win, you get recognized."

Rose from long range:

Not long ago Derrick Rose missed 19 consecutive shots from 3-point range. He turned that around Saturday, though, by sticking 5 of 6 attempts in the first quarter against Utah. The Bulls knocked down a franchise record 18 as a team.

"I know that I missed them, but my confidence was still high," Rose said. "I know I put a lot of work in my shot.

"You try to go back every game and see what you did wrong. Was the release wrong, were they long, were the shots short? Look at those type of things and try to do different the next game."

So what was the problem on those 19 straight misses?

"I think the biggest thing was release and following through," he said.

Boozer slowly improves:

Carlos Boozer increased his activity but is not expected to play Tuesday against Washington. He's still nursing a sprained left ankle, which happened after a flagrant foul by Charlotte's Kwame Brown last Wednesday.

"I'm getting better every day. Today's a little better than yesterday," Boozer said. "I'm seeing good improvement. Hopefully I'll get back very soon."

Coach Tom Thibodeau estimated Boozer will be back "probably within the week." The Bulls are 14-7 without Boozer this season.

Trying to forget '91:

Tom Thibodeau was asked Monday how he would coach against the 1991 championship Bulls. He offered a reminder that he was an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves back then.

"I was coaching and I wasn't good," Thibodeau said. "There is some irony in it, because that team was painful for me. But now it's enjoyable. I'd rather be on their side. They're great guys."

Celtics step up defense:

Derrick Rose had a good line when asked about Boston holding Milwaukee to a franchise-low 56 points Sunday night.

"That would probably give us a day off from closeouts with Thibs," he joked.

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