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updated: 2/11/2014 11:00 PM

Noah: Rose 'getting better,' but won't speculate on return

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  • Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before an NBA basketball game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Chicago.

      Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before an NBA basketball game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

After watching Derrick Rose work out at the United Center following the Bulls' shootaround on Tuesday, Joakim Noah talked about taking inspiration from Rose's second go-round with knee rehabilitation.

"He's doing a lot more than just shooting around," Noah told reporters. "He's in the gym nonstop. Just working on his body, getting better, getting better, and that's what it's all about.

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"He's a big part of this team, and he has that mentality of just having no regrets. Just giving everything you got. If you can go, you can go. If you can't, you did everything you could to make it. That's what it's all about.

"He's always around the team -- being a great leader, showing support to his teammates. Just watching him work every day, I think it's just extra motivation for us to go out there and go harder."

Asked if he's hoping returns late this season, Noah gave the polite answer.

"That's not my decision," Noah said. "That's nobody's decision. It's all about how he feels and regardless of what happens we're going to be supportive."

Rose had surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee on Nov. 25 and the Bulls immediately ruled him out for the season. It's too soon to speculate on whether that could change in the future.

Bulls struggling to score:

The Bulls started the night ranked last in the NBA in scoring, at 92.1 points per game. Before playing Atlanta, coach Tom Thibodeau had little to say when asked how the offense could improve.

"Score," he answered.

Asked to expand on the answer, Thibodeau added, "We're trying to win, so we have to play to our strengths and cover up our weaknesses."

His response was much longer when asked about how the 3-point shot has become a bigger factor in recent years.

"When the rules changed, it changed the makeup of a lot of teams," Thibodeau said. "I think in the 90s, there was a stretch where a lot of power forwards were playing the small forward position. It was more of a power game, physical inside. Then with the rule changes, it changed a lot of things. When you're allowed to bring the weakside big over to the strong side, you have to have more shooting on the floor.

"Now you see more teams are playing another perimeter player, so you have four perimeters players in most cases. The stretch four has become much more prominent and puts a lot more pressure on you."

The Bulls rank 27th in 3-pointer percentage (.334) and 28th in 3-point baskets per game (5.9). They own the rights to one of those sharpshooting power forwards, Real Madrid's Nikola Mirotic.

Hawks retain ex-Bull:

Atlanta signed Cartier Martin to a second 10-day contract on Tuesday. Except for a pair of 10-day contracts he signed with the Bulls, Martin has been with the Hawks for most of the season.

Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer was asked if Martin became a better defender after spending 20 days with the Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau.

"Oh yeah. He came back and was totally changed. He told us we had no idea what we were doing. We changed everything," Budenholzer joked, before another reporter ruined the moment by asking if the Hawks first-year coach was serious.

Bull horns:

Atlanta's Kyle Korver stretched his NBA-record streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer to 119 by draining his second attempt of the night, early in the second quarter. … The Bulls will host their annual "Evening with the Bulls" dinner and fundraiser on Wednesday at the United Center. Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Tim Meadows will serve as emcee.

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