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Bulls Vs. Trail Blazers
If there are two teams that have perennially encountered setbacks due to injuries, it is the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers.
With Brandon Roy trying to validate a large contract and Derrick Rose trying to will the Bulls to an undefeated Circus Trip, this would have been a great game.
Despite the great guards for both teams, the greatest battle of the game would have been in the post as both teams feature strong, aggressive, physical big men who like to fight in the trenches.
Last season, various story lines including strong regular-season performances by the Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat saga and Kobe Bryant chasing Michael Jordan's legacy led to the Trail Blazers being ignored by the majority of NBA fans. Nonetheless, the Trail Blazers looked solid last year and were favored in the postseason against the Dallas Mavericks on Bleacher Report" target="_blank">Dallas Mavericks.
Portland would have had a solid performance against the Bulls with both Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge playing exceptionally well.
Gerald Wallace and Nicolas Batum turned in decent performances but were unable to play consistently on offense due to strong defensive performances by the Bulls backcourt.
Portland, known as a decent defensive team. would have forced the Bulls to a poor start but would have wilted against the offensive strength the Bulls have shown early this season.
The Bulls would have been looking for their second win on the Circus Trip and, despite a potent Portland fan base, would have performed well after a couple days rest.
Luol Deng, Ronnie Brewer and Joakim Noah would have had solid defensive nights, combining for seven steals and four blocks.
Rose and Carlos Boozer would have led the Bulls offensively and Boozer would have had a season high with 30+ points as he sought to keep pace with Aldridge's strong offensive performance.
Rose would have come through big late in the game, hitting a huge three and finishing an "and one" with seconds left on the clock.
In their second close game of the season, the Bulls would have shown that they are able to finish with the game on the line.
Rose's free throw with seconds left would have given the Bulls the lead and Noah would have contested Aldridge's last-second shot attempt, causing him to miss.
The Bulls would have gained a lot of confidence from this game and would have ended the night with a 7-1 record while being 2-0 on the Circus Trip.