Bulls think big

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

Jalen Rose thinks Chicago Bulls big men Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry still have something to prove.

The much-improved Bulls players, both of whom are former teammates of the Raptors swingman, have elevated their play this season as they prepare to become restricted free agents this summer.

With the open market looming, money is one motivating factor for Chandler and Curry.

"They've really developed and they're playing hard," Rose said. "I don't know if it's because they're trying to get paid or because they've really grown up and are playing the way they are capable of. We'll see over the next couple of years if it's really legit."

Raptors point guard Rafer Alston also has noticed Curry's improvement.

"He worked out hard this summer and he's doing a lot of things to keep his weight down and stay in great physical shape," Alston said. "But he's also in a contract year.It's put up or shut up. I'm always on the internet, always watching sports and I see his agent trying to get him the max."

MARCH MADNESS

Raptors forward Matt Bonner, a graduate of the Florida Gators college program, watched his old team lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament last week, but he is lending his support to another team.

Bonner's younger brother, Luke, is a freshman centre for the West Virginia Mountaineers, who face Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 tomorrow night. The seven-foot Luke Bonner is playing a minor role for West Virginia this season and averaged just one point in 22 games.

Three Raptors will be cheering for their respective schools this weekend -- Alvin Williams (Villanova), Loren Woods (Arizona) and Morris Peterson (Michigan State).

BRIEFLY

Rose averaged 29.7 points in three games last week.


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