Rapid Reaction: Blazers 109, Bulls 103
February, 7, 2011
By Nick Friedell
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Let's take a quick look at how the Portland Trail Blazers upended the Chicago Bulls 109-103 on Monday night at the Rose Garden.
How it happened: LaMarcus Aldridge tore up the Bulls defense for 42 points. The Portland big man did whatever he wanted offensively as the Bulls simply had no answer for him. Andre Miller had a big night for the Blazers as well, scoring 27 points and dishing out 11 assists. Derrick Rose finished with 36 points for the Bulls, but it wasn't enough as his team's defense was not up to par for the second game in a row.
What it means: It's easy to say that the Bulls need Joakim Noah back. Clearly, they do. Without Noah, Aldridge lit them up all night. But to just focus on that is not enough. After all, Aldridge had 33 points against the Bulls earlier in the year, and that's when Noah was in the lineup.
The Bulls defense hasn't looked as energetic as usual over the last two games and Tom Thibodeau has to be upset. Luol Deng spent most of the first half in foul trouble, and without him providing some offensive support for Rose and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls didn't have many other options. Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas combined for 43 minutes and two points. That's not going to cut it against most teams -- especially on the road.
Stat of the night: The Blazers were 37-for-40 from the foul line. The Bulls were just 11-for-18.
What's next: The Bulls head to Salt Lake City to face off against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. It marks the homecoming for Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, all of whom played for the Jazz at some point last season. All three players should be fired up to play their old teammates and coach Jerry Sloan.