Trail Blazers-Bulls Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 15, 2012
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker