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Article updated: 11/12/2012 10:31 PM

Thibs optimistic about Rose's recovery

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo drives on Bulls center Joakim Noah during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Chicago.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo drives on Bulls center Joakim Noah during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Chicago.

 

Associated Press

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives on Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives on Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

 
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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau offered some promising news on Derrick Rose's recovery from ACL surgery. Thibodeau said Rose began doing cuts on the court last week.

He also expressed confidence Rose would play this season. Sometime after the all-star break in February seems to be a reasonable guess.

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"Everything is going according to plan," Thibodeau said before Monday's game. "He's not ahead of schedule, he's not behind schedule. He's exactly where he should be.

"He's doing great. You have to be patient with it. He's been very diligent. He's in every day. He's moving along. He started cutting. He's been shooting for a while now. He feels pretty good, so we just have to be patient."

When the Bulls head out on the five-game circus road trip this week, Rose is expected to stay at his summer workout base in Los Angeles. The Bulls will spend three days in L.A. later this week before playing the Clippers on Saturday.

"We're going to do what we think is best for both the team and Derrick," Thibodeau said. "So on this trip, I like him being in one place, so he may meet us out in L.A., but for him the rehab has to be the priority. For us, it's a long trip and we're going to be jumping around, so he'll be on the trip for part of it; he'll meet us out in L.A."

Thibs, Rivers talk often:

Can NBA coaches stay friends even while being fiercely competitive? Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says it can be done, as evidenced by his relationship with Boston coach Doc Rivers. Thibodeau was an assistant to Rivers from 2007-10 and the two won a championship with the Celtics in 2008.

"Anytime you win a championship with somebody it ties you together forever," Thibodeau said. "He (Rivers) has been a good friend for a long time. We talk basketball all the time, except when we're getting ready to play each other. Then we talk other stuff.

"I knew he'd be fired up about the Bears. He loves the Bears. He was excited about the (Houston) game. I didn't talk to him after the game, but we talked more about that than basketball."

Thinking man's center:

Boston coach Doc Rivers gave strong praise to Bulls center Joakim Noah on Monday.

"His IQ is as good as there is in the league," Rivers told reporters at the morning shootaround. "Noah, Kevin Garnett -- there's only a handful of bigs that have great IQs as far as point guard IQs and Noah's one of them."

Boston's eye on LA:

Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledged that any true Boston fan always wants things to go badly for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Otherwise, he didn't have a lot to say about the Lakers' surprising decision to spurn Phil Jackson and hire former Phoenix and New York boss Mike D'Antoni as head coach.

"Interesting," Rivers said. "Mike's a heck of a coach. I'm amused by all of this, all of the sudden Mike D'Antoni's not a good coach. He's a terrific coach. Other than that, I don't have too much to say about it."

We don't want them to do too well, we all know that.

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