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updated: 10/15/2012 10:59 PM

Bulls go over finer points of rules with league officials

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After Monday's practice, the Bulls met with former NBA referee George Toliver to discuss points of emphasis in how games will be officiated this season.

When the session was over, most of the players headed to the weight room for a mandatory memorabilia-signing session.

But Richard Hamilton and Nazr Mohammed stayed on the court for several minutes,discussing and demonstrating movements on the court forToliver to explain. Coach Tom Thibodeau and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson also were in the discussion.

"This being my 15th year, I hope they kind of know who I am out there," Mohammed said. "I just had some questions about some of the things I see from time to time, kind of clarify things, so I won't do them. Or if I know if I'm right.

"It's so hard to ref us big guys, because there's going to be contact. There's a lot of judgment calls as far as is the contact marginal, is it within the rules? Strength is an issue. Certain guys are just hard to ref."

The NBA announced penalties for blatant flopping this season, but those will be decided by the league office based on video revue, not by game officials. Luol Deng said the flop rules weren't a big part of Monday's discussion.

"We didn't really go over it," he said. "There's a gray line. Not a lot of guys can take a charge without flopping. If I keep taking the hit and I don't fall, do you call it a charge?

"We've just got to get a better understanding of it. The guys that play the game the right way won't have any trouble at all."

Mohammed feels at home:

Ex-Bulls center Omer Asik is off to a good start in Houston, averaging 9.3 points and 11 rebounds in three preseason games. But veteran Nazr Mohammed has been no slouch, with 9.0 points and 9.7 rebounds.

"Nazr is great," center Joakim Noah said. "He's a very positive guy and someone who has a lot of experience in the league. He's playing at a very high level right now. He's definitely going to help us."

So far, Mohammed, 35, has enjoyed working against Noah in practice.

"He helps me because he's full of energy," Mohammed said. "He keeps you on your (toes), and I know in practice I've got to be focused because he's going to come with energy every day. That's going to help me and get me in better shape."

Butler plays Ironman:

Forward Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes in Saturday's game at Minnesota. Butler's performance in the preseason will help determine if coach Tom Thibodeau will cut down on Luol Deng's league-high minutes per game.

"I call it the Luol Deng experience," Butler said of going the distance. "I don't think it's as physical as it is mental.

"I think your body can take it, but can you keep your mind in it that long? I think that's the hardest thing about it."

Butler was asked if he took it as a compliment that Thibodeau wanted to give him such a long look.

"A little bit, but I think a lot of it was because maybe I need to get my confidence up," he said. "I feel like I did. There's still a lot I have to work on, but it's definitely tough seeing what Lu has to go through day in and day out. That's no joke."

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