Mar 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Luke Babbitt (8) goes up for a rebound against the Chicago Bulls during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Bulls Stunned by Blazers 100-89

Bulls 89, Blazers 100 – FINAL

LaMarcus Aldridge and his 21 points led the Blazers past the Bulls on Friday night. (Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE)

It’s March Madness and everyone’s got upset fever, including the Bulls. Maybe it’s because their brackets got busted when for the first time in tournament history two 15-seeds upset Duke and Missouri. Or maybe it was the awful fourth quarter that the Bulls played that caused them to be stunned by a Blazers team that had just received a facelift and fired their coach.

It could also be new head coach syndrome. We see it all the time when a team gets a new head coach and a formidable opponent on the same night they play extra hard.

It’s why the Green Bay Packers didn’t finish perfect last season.

But there should be no excuse as to why the Bulls want to give knee jerk critics the opportunity to blast them two nights after stunning the Heat without Derrick Rose.

Rose was out again and will most likely sit Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day game against the Sixers. But how can the Bulls beat the Heat behind John Lucas III and then turn around and lose to the Blazers?

After his 24 point performance on Wednesday, Lucas went just 2 for 8 from three point range finishing with 8 points. Joakim Noah also failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 12 and failing to hit double digits in rebounding yet again. An equally poor nigth was had by Ronnie Brewer who finished with just two points.

Unlike the Heat game, where Carlos Boozer was a major blight, he was the leader on Friday scoring 22 and recording a double-double with 14 rebounds.

But it was the nasty fourth quarter that did the Bulls in against a team coming off a 42 point loss to the Knicks. Chicago was up by one entering the fourth quarter, then shot just 3 of 23 and were outscored 22-10.

You might be saying to yourself that the Blazers new and improved roster energized them. Well you’d be mistaken as all four of the Blazers new acquisitions didn’t play against the Bulls. That’s right, the old Blazers roster — one sans Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace mind you — outscored the Bulls 50-36 after halftime.

Joakim Noah refused to call it a letdown after the game and moved his focus ahead to a bigger showdown against the Sixers.

“There is no such thing.” Noah said. “We lost against the worst and we beat the best. It is what it is. It hurts right now, but we have another tough one tomorrow so just got to come ready.”

Derrick Rose missed his 12th game of the season meaning he has missed nearly 30 percent of the Bulls season thus far with carious ailments. It’s yet to be determined if he’ll play Saturday but even if he doesn’t it’s clear that this Bulls team without him –despite the win against the Heat– really doesn’t know who they are.

Next 3 Games

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

TV

3/17

Vs.  Sixers

7pm

WGN

 3/19

@ Magic

 7pm

TNT

 3/21

@ Raptors

6pm

WCIU

 

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