Thibodeau, Rose earn NBA's March accolades

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Thibodeau, Rose earn NBA's March accolades

Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted: 4:05 p.m. Updated 7:31 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.--With the exception of All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls haven't garnered much in the way of individual accolades this season. As the NBA regular season winds down, however, that may be about to change.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was named the Eastern Conference coach of the month for March, during which the Bulls moved up to first place in the East, due to a 13-3 record under the guidance of the first-year coach.

Ironically, one of Thibodeau's predecessors with the Bulls, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, was awarded the honor in the Western Conference. It was the second time this season Thibodeau received the award after earning the honor for January.

Two Bulls players, Luol Deng and Kyle Korver, also received recognition recently.

Deng was named the Central Division nominee for the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award. Deng previously won the award--named after the top executive of the Bulls' opponent Friday night, Detroit Pistons Hall of Famer Joe Dumars--following the 2006-07 season.

Korver was named a nominee for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, awarded by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). Korver, whose charitable foundation has put on community events for youth in Chicago, as well as his previous NBA stops of Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Omaha, Neb., where he attended college.

Meanwhile, Rose is also up for a PBWA honor: The Magic Johnson Award, which is awarded to "the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation with the media and fans."

Rose named Player of the Month

Derrick Rose was named the NBAs Eastern Conference player of the month for March, the league announced Friday.

Rose, who led the Bulls to a 13-3 record in March, notched his career high in assists with 17 in a win at Milwaukee on March 26 and tied his high scoring mark with 42 in a loss at Indiana on March 18. He also set career marks in three-pointers made with six in a win at Atlanta on March 22 and in free throws made and attempted with 18 and 21, respectively, in the aforementioned Indiana loss.

Rose is averaging 25 points per game (the seventh-highest number in the NBA) and 7.9 assists per game (ranked 10th in the league) this season. The third-year All-Star was also the awards recipient in November.

Kobe Bryant of the Lakers was named the Western Conference player of the month

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

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Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue break down the Bulls' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

TNT Bulls are back this week as the team heads into a crucial stretch. 

Currently, the Bulls sit half a game back of the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and with just eight games remaining on the schedule, each contest is essentially a must-win. 

So, yes, Thursday would be a great time for Jimmy Butler and company to summon their TNT alter ego. The Bulls have sealed 18 straight victories when playing on TNT Thursday, an improbable feat considering those games are usually reserved for two of the NBA's best. 

To continue that run, they'll have to down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are also fighting for playoff positioning -- albeit at the top of the conference. Good thing the Bulls have a tendency to get up for big games. 

"The Bulls play up and down to their competition," Bulls Pregame and Postgame analyst Kendall Gill said. "They've been doing that the whole season." 

After Cleveland, the Bulls get set to battle another playoff squad, the Atlanta Hawks. 

Watch the video above to see Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the matchups.