AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau hit on two hot-button issues during his pregame media session Sunday night. The biggest topic of discussion was the lack of whistles for Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, and if his inability to get to the line is hurting the team in some ways. Thibodeau doesn't said Rose will eventually start getting the calls that Bulls fans have been begging for.
"We want him to get to the line more," Thibodeau said. "And we don't want him to not drive because he's not getting the calls. We want him to continue to attack. And he's got to drive with force, which he does. I think he drives with speed, and when he gets hit, he should be getting the calls."
Having been around the league for over two decades, Thibodeau knows that there is something Rose could do to start getting more calls -- it's what most NBA players have done for years
"The one thing he doesn't do is he doesn't exaggerate the contact," Thibodeau said. "And sometimes in this league that's what you have to do. That's probably something that he can work on. But the way he's playing is terrific. He's got a great blend to his game. He's taking what the defense is giving him. If they go underneath on a pick and roll, he shoots. If they go over the top, he drives. If he's single covered, he attacks. If the double-team comes, he makes the play. So I don't want him to change anything that he's doing. I think a big part of who he is the way, and what makes him so special is when he's attacking in transition. When he's coming at you with a head of steam, I want him to get to the rim as quickly as he can and then make his decision at the rim. I think as time goes on, I think he will get more and more calls."
As for Rose's communication with officials, Thibodeau thinks it's not hurting his cause.
"He's got a great way about him," Thibodeau said. "His demeanor is excellent. And he's very respectful of the officials. And I think at the appropriate times he has to make his points to the officials, which I think he's getting better at. Again, sometimes it's hard because of his speed, quickness and strength. Because it's happening so quick, sometimes [fouls are] not being recognized. But I think in time he'll get calls."
The second issue Thibodeau addressed was his continued decision to start veterans Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas. It's clear that the Bulls head coach enjoys the presence that both players bring with them to start games.
"You want to be a well-balanced team," Thibodeau said. "I think what Kurt and Keith bring to our team are two guys that can guard extremely well. They make it hard on the opponent to start the game. And they both play to their strengths. So Keith's not going to try to do things off the dribble. He's going to take spot-ups and the things that come back to him. And Kurt's going to set great screens and he'll also take the pick and pop shot. They're both smart players. They're tough players. And they fulfill their roles."
King's mom passes: Lois Jean King, mother of Bulls' TV color commentator Stacey King, passed away on Saturday. She was 75 years old. King missed Sunday night's game and was replaced on the television side by radio color commentator Bill Wennington.
The last word: Thibodeau, on what you do on Christmas night in Detroit, "when was that?" he said with a laugh.