Posted March 15, 2012 on
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Portland Trail Blazers
The Chicago Bulls credit their ability to play through adversity for making them stronger.
For the Portland Trail Blazers, continued problems cost coach Nate McMillan his job as the franchise underwent some big changes.
The Bulls aren't certain if they'll have star guard Derrick Rose available Friday night when they host the reeling Trail Blazers, who play their first game under interim coach Caleb Kanales.
Portland (20-23) has dropped to last place in the Northwest Division with seven losses in nine games, with all six defeats in March by double digits.
The Trail Blazers put up little resistance and were embarrassed with a 121-79 loss at New York on Wednesday to a Knicks team that had lost six straight.
The 42-point defeat was the last straw for management, which fired McMillan on Thursday after six seasons, during which he guided the team to three playoff berths. Kanales was promoted from assistant to interim coach.
"Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways," Blazers President Larry Miller said in a statement issued by the team.
Thursday's moves also included trading veteran center Marcus Camby to Houston and forward Gerald Wallace to New Jersey. The Trail Blazers acquired guard Jonny Flynn and the expiring contracts of Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and Hasheem Thabeet as well as draft picks.
To make room for the new additions, Portland waived former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden, who was limited to 82 games by injuries since the Blazers took him over Kevin Durant with the first selection in the 2007 draft. Oden recently underwent his third microfracture knee surgery.
With Portland in flux and struggling, a visit to Chicago isn't likely to help. The Bulls (36-9) have the NBA's best record and have won three straight, including a 106-102 victory over Southeast Division-leading Miami on Wednesday without Rose.
The reigning MVP sat out with a strained groin - the 11th game he's missed this season. A day earlier, he was fined $25,000 by the league for criticizing officiating in a win over the Knicks and he was involved in a minor car accident, although he wasn't injured.
While Rose and Richard Hamilton (shoulder) were out, Luol Deng returned after missing two games because of pain in his injured left wrist and had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Despite Deng's poor shooting and a season-low two points from Carlos Boozer, the Bulls prevailed behind 24 points from John Lucas III - one of six players in double figures.
"We're like a brotherhood," said Lucas, who hit 9 of 12 shots and 3 of 5 3-pointers. "When one brother goes down, we have their back."
Chicago outrebounded the Heat 50-34 and has a 15.0 boards per game edge over its last three opponents. Taj Gibson has averaged 8.7 rebounds off the bench during that stretch, grabbing a season-high 13 against the Knicks.
"The guys we have on our team are the right guys," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They have the right attitude, approach and there's the belief we can win."
It's not certain if Rose or Hamilton will play Friday. Rose has two 30-point games in his last three meetings with Portland.
Chicago has won two straight at home against the Blazers, but has lost six of the last eight meetings overall.
LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 35.7 points in his last three games against the Bulls, scoring 42 in Portland's 109-103 victory on Feb. 7, 2011.
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Derrick Rose, the NBA’s staid, reigning Most Valuable Player has had himself a somewhat unlucky week. On Monday, Rose surprised everyone by finally complaining to officials that he doesn’t receive his fair share of foul calls before getting in a minor fender bender the next day and sitting out a revenge game against the Miami Heat, the team that soundly thrashed the Bulls in...
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The Portland Trail Blazers fired head coach Nate McMillan Thursday, Yahoo! Sports reported.
News of McMillan's departure came shortly after the Blazers completed trades sending forward Gerald Wallace and center Marcus Camby out of Portland.
Assistant coach Kaleb Canales will take over the team on an interim basis, according to the report.
McMillan, 47, was in his seventh season...
The Portland Trail Blazers started an overhaul to the team Thursday, firing head coach Nate McMillan and trading away a pair of veteran players.The dismissal of McMillan came one day after the Blazers absorbed a 42-point beating at the hands of the New York Knicks - the team's seventh loss in nine games.“Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it...
Bulls star Derrick Rose was involved in a minor car accident in Chicago.
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The Bulls say Rose was not injured. Police cited the driver of the Saturn, Charles Tratwein, for failing to reduce speed to avoid a...
Bulls star Derrick Rose missed Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat because of a strained groin, leaving Chicago without its best player for a matchup between the Eastern Conference's best teams.
Coach Tom Thibodeau says he's day-to-day.
With Rose out, C.J. Watson returned from a sprained left ankle and started at point guard. Meanwhile, All-Star forward Luol Deng...
All-Star point guard Derrick Rose is out for his 10th straight game, missing the Chicago Bulls game with the West-leading Oklahoma City because of an injured right groin.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said before Sunday's game between the teams with the NBA's two best records that Rose is ''moving along the way that we anticipated'' and doing more each day in practice...
Nate McMillan has been fired by the Blazers, according to a source. McMillan has been the head coach of the Blazers since the 05-06 season. Kaleb Canales has been promoted to interim head coach of Portland.Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter)
Well today is not a good day to be a Blazer fan. First you trade away Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby for prospects and...
The Portland Trail Blazers started the season hot. They were 7-2 and had people thinking they might contend for the Western Conference title. Now they’re sitting at 20-23 and the team clearly isn’t happy with the way things are headed.
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What a week of bad omens for Derrick Rose: he will pay the NBA $25k for criticizing the refs after he and the Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks Monday, and who knows what it will cost him in insurance premiums after a Saturn driver rear-ended Rose’s Bentley on a Chicago expressway Tuesday.
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The Portland Trail Blazers are a team deep in the center of change. When a team tries to change its culture the first move made to facilitate that change starts with coaching.
So with that in mind, Nate McMillan was let go today. Team president Larry Miller, in a release issued by the team, made it perfectly clear what their intentions were today.
“Clearly the season to this...
When Derrick Rose was declared inactive for Wednesday night's Heat-Bulls matchup, logic suggested that Chicago would struggle to score against the NBA's fourth-best defense. Instead, John Lucas played like Rose.Lucas scored 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and the Bulls shot over 50 percent (10-for-19) from the three-point line as Chicago (36-9) upset the Heat (31-11) 106-102...
The Portland Trail Blazers are moving on a day after making major changes.
The Trail Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan, waived former No. 1 selection Greg Oden and traded Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace on Thursday.
Interim head coach Kaleb Canales, who is the youngest coach in the NBA at age 34, is still going through his same routine.
Before Friday's game against Chicago...
NBA Matchup Insight
Not only are the Trailblazers a terrible home team this season, but they may have given up on the season and are looking to the future, as they fired head coach Nate McMillan, traded away Gerald Wallace (13.3 ppg) and leading rebounder Marcus Camby, and the finally said goodbye to Greg Oden waiving the former #1 pick.
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