Bulls

Bulls notes: Rose improving core strength

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Bulls notes: Rose improving core strength

TORONTODuring the offseason, Derrick Rose talked about the silver lining of his torn ACL injury being that he could focus on strength training, something he previously neglected, due to his natural physical gifts.

Prior to his teams shootaround Wednesday morning, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau discussed the former league MVPs physical condition and concurred with Roses opinion.

Derricks one of those guys who stays in great shape year-round. Its about where hes been in the past, he said. Hes had to put more time into that, from that standpoint, so I think hes doing more core stuff, more for his lower body and I think guys sort of evolve into that. The longer youre in the league, the more you understand, too, how important that is for maintenance, to be able to endure getting nicked up during the course of the season.

Thibodeau wary of Raptors

As expected, Thibodeau wasnt resting on the laurels of the Bulls 97-58 Monday-night thrashing of Atlanta at the United Center.

The coach added that despite the Raptors mediocre record, he was concerned about their depth.

Thats gone, so you just get ready for Toronto. Practice well today, concentrate, just go step by step, be ready to go, he said. The activity of their bigs, Jose Calderon off the dribble, DeMar DeRozan off the dribble. Kyle Lowry had a pretty good ankle sprain last night, but then came back and played great in the fourth quarter.

"John Lucas III is an X-factor when he comes into the game, Fields is hard-playing, Ed Davis has played extremely well for them up front, Amir Johnson has played well. Aaron Gray is a guy who, if he gets deep post position, hes going to make you pay, Thibodeau continued. Theyre playing well. The last 10 games or so, theyre really playing well.

Lucas still on Bulls' minds

Luol Deng talked about the shoot-first nature of former teammate John Lucas III, known for his instant-offense ability.

Although Lucas is in Toronto, Deng said that the backup point guard still keeps in touch with his old team.

Thats just his game. Theres some guys in this league, you just know when they get the opportunity, theyre going to get shots up and sometimes you wonder why theyre not playing a lot of minutes, and thats probably why. But its just his game, he quipped.

John is always talking smack somehow, whether its on Twitter or texting you, something he saw. Hes always staying on his former teammates.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

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11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

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USA TODAY

11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

Maybe the rest of the NBA has really taken notice of the Bulls' recent play. After all, they're 13-8 since a putrid 3-20 start and are within shouting distance (if you yell really loudly) of the No. 8 spot in the East.

So maybe that's why 11 different Bulls - including the infamous Cameron Payne - received at least one vote to start in the NBA All-Star Game in February. That, or the players could not care less about the voting process and made a mockery of it for a second straight year.

This could become a get-off-my-lawn story, and we could go on for hours about why the NBA should really reconsider giving players 25 percent of the vote on starters. Then again, as a whole they seemed to get it right in the East, with Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt, and LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in the frontcourt. 

But instead of complaining, let's just get to the hilarious results and show you how the Bulls fared in both the player and fan voting (no Bulls received any media votes, because they shouldn't have).

Fun fact: The Bulls combined received 170,669 fan votes. That's about 5,000 less than Rockets center Clint Capela received. Their 31 combined player votes were two more than Carmelo Anthony received, so yeah.