Beating Celtics gives confidence a boost

CHICAGO -- A victory over the Boston Celtics still carries more weight than most. Don't believe me? Here’s what the Bulls players had so say after their big 90-79 win at the United Center on Saturday night.

"It means a lot," Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said. "Knowing that we can compete with some of the best teams out there. Especially coming in, getting a win after losing two. Especially against that team. It means a lot to us. Hopefully, it will boost our confidence up and I hope we start playing well."

That was the prevailing thought in the locker room. After playing so poorly in losses to the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers earlier in the week, the Bulls are hoping that this win gets them back on the right path.

"When you get a win like this, you know [can] compete with some of the best teams in the East," Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer said. "We had some let-ups on the road and it's unfortunate. But it's good, it shows that we can bounce back and play together as a team. And I'm just proud of this team that we came back and got a big win."

"Great for our morale. Great for our team spirit,” said Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer. “Our whole thing is to improve and keep winning and tonight was a great challenge. It just shows you how good we can be. And we just got to keep striving to be better every day, and tonight was a step in the right direction."

Noah's cast comes off: Speaking of a step in the right direction, Bulls center Joakim Noah had his cast removed and his now wearing a splint on his right hand. He still expects to be out until late February/early March but he seems to be in good spirits and is already starting to work out.

The last word: Rose, on trying to draw fouls on drives to the hoop:

"I'm going to be sore. But I'm still learning how to get fouled. Going up and hitting [Shaquille O’Neal] every time, it hurts, definitely. [It's like] running into a brick wall, but I got to get up and I got to learn from it. And that's basketball."