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Thibodeau disagrees with Rose’s assessment of Bulls’ offense

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau needed to correct his point guard Saturday.

Derrick Rose said earlier this week that the offense now gives players more freedom to play to their strengths.

“It’s the same offense we’ve been running,’’ Thibodeau said when asked if he agreed with Rose. “I really don’t [agree with him] because it’s really the same offense we’ve been running for years. All I know is, it works a lot better when he plays.’’

Rose is playing. So are Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Aaron Brooks. That has contributed to the Bulls’ averaging 103.4 points per game (eighth in the NBA) after never averaging more than 98.6 (19th in the league in the 2010-11 season) under Thibodeau.

Two seasons ago, the Bulls were 28th in the league in scoring with 93.2 points.

Give Thibodeau the weapons, he will give them points.

“The big thing is when you’re putting your plan together with your team, you want to study what the strengths and weaknesses of each guy are, and then how it all fits together,’’ Thibodeau said. “So you want to always play to those strengths and cover up your weaknesses. As your personnel changes, it allows you to do different things.

“And so you get Derrick back, and that gives you a lot of things you can do that you couldn’t do in the past. But when you add Pau into the mix, that gives you more options. Then throw in Niko and Aaron, that gives you a lot more options. Then the other guys have grown. You look at what Taj [Gibson] can do. Joakim [Noah] is still not where he was last year, and that’s a great option, as well. Joakim does a lot of great things offensively for us.’’

NBA bromance

The way New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams sees it, he and Thibodeau preach the same message to their players. It’s just that a lot more expletives are delivered in Thibodeau’s.

The two actually became very good friends — “brothers,’’ as Williams described it — this summer as assistants for Team USA.

“I learned a ton from him,’’ Williams said. “The way he goes about communicating, I don’t have a problem with that. His players love him, they play hard for him. We had a lot of long walks and talks together.

“We were up late at night with Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] and coach [Jim] Boeheim, sometimes 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning watching film. He and I were both wide awake trying to figure out how to help our team win a gold medal.’’


Twitter: @suntimes_hoops