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IN BRIEF: View from the bench raises Boozer's hopes

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Carlos Boozer has watched every Bulls game this season from the bench and said he has been impressed with what he has seen.

''We've got a lot of fight,'' he said. ''We've got guys that are very resilient. We got down it seems like every game [on the recent road trip], and we fought back every game. We didn't win every game on the trip, but we were in position to win every game no matter what the score was.

''When I look at my team and I see how much fight we've got, how much talent we've got, it gives you a great sense of hope of how good we can be.''

Boozer also had praise for point guard Derrick Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau.

About Rose, Boozer said: ''He's amazing. I'm really impressed. I knew he was really good, but then you see him every day and you see him in games. The kid has the heart of a champion. He makes play after play after play. Wow. That's all I can say, 'Wow.'''

He also said the Bulls were Rose's team.

Boozer had similar words for Thibodeau: ''He's very good, very focused. He's as prepared of a coach as I've been around. He probably watches more tape than any coach I've ever seen. He has gotten better with his rotation and with managing games. He makes adjustments on the fly on what's working, who's hot and how our defense is being played. He's a very good coach.''Chance meeting

During the Bulls' day off in Denver on Thanksgiving, Joakim Noah was relaxing in the steam room in the team's hotel when former Broncos quarterback John Elway entered.

''I don't know a lot of football players, but I know him,'' said Noah, who grew up in France. ''I didn't know what to do. I didn't say anything because I didn't know if he wanted to be bothered. It was just me and him in there.'' TONIGHT: MAGIC AT BULLS