Rose thinks Deng is the Bulls' MVP

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Updated 5/17/2011 11:26 PM

Derrick Rose made another call on an MVP award Tuesday.

Rose may be the league's most valuable player, but he thinks Luol Deng is MVP of the Bulls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Lu has been great. Like I told you, Lu's my MVP of this year on this team," Rose said. "He's been a great leader."

Deng turned in a heroic performance in Game 1, producing 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and helping limit LeBron James to 15 points. During the playoffs, he's averaging 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.

"To me, as long as I'm out there doing the little stuff, that's really my role on this team -- defending, rebounding, leading out there," Deng said. "I take pride in that."

Taj turns it off:

Taj Gibson has taken center stage in the national spotlight after his two spectacular dunks in Game 1. But the second-year forward from Brooklyn is ready for the next task.

"I turned my phone off," he said Tuesday. "I just wanted to move on. That's one thing about this league. You can get knocked back on your heels. I wanted to forget about it."

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Coach Tom Thibodeau talked about Gibson playing a vital role off the bench after starting 89 games in his first two seasons.

"He has great character," Thibodeau said. "He's a winner. Whatever you ask him to do, he's willing to do. The team always comes first with him."

Honorary mob member:

The Bulls' reserves, nicknamed "The Bench Mob" by guard C.J. Watson earlier this season, got off to a fast start on Sunday against Miami.

"All my family has (a Bench Mob T-shirt)," Derrick Rose said. "They're very big fans of the Bench Mob."

Luol Deng is sort of an honorary member of the Mob, since he usually stays on the court with Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson and Omer Asik before eventually giving way to Kyle Korver.

"When I'm out there with the second unit, I just try to be more vocal out there," Deng said. "I think as the season went on, I got better at it. I wasn't really as vocal as I am now. Guys are listening to me. A lot of times I want to win the game so bad, I'm saying stuff to guys they already know."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Thibs talk:

Derrick Rose on the Bulls repeating some of Tom Thibodeau's "coach speak" phrases.

"We always play around saying that," he said. "We'll be in the locker room, we'll just be talking and we'll catch ourselves, 'We sound like him, man. Dang, we sound like him. We've got to stop.'

"It's all playing around. We know the big goal. We know we have to stick together through all this. To win a championship, we've got to follow him."

The Oprah effect:

Oprah Winfrey took control of the United Center for the two days between Games 1 and 2. The players don't seem to mind.

"That's Oprah. She can do whatever she wants," Derrick Rose said. "My mom and family are going to it. Everybody's hoping for gifts." Added Miami's Dwyane Wade, "We'll take a back seat to Oprah any day. Good luck to her."

Bull horns:

The Bulls announced Jim Cornelison will sing the national anthem before all remaining playoff games. ... Scottie Pippen played a quick one-on-one game, in a long-sleeve shirt and jeans, against John Lucas III after Tuesday's practice. ... Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver taped bits for Disney Channel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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