Young Chicago Bulls Finding West Coast Unkind

Josh Herman@@JoshHermanPJSCorrespondent INovember 25, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls goes to the basket against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game on November 19, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Every year the circus comes to Chicago, and that means an annual roadtrip for both the Bulls and Blackhawks.

And every year it seems as if both teams find themselves struggling while clowns and trapeze artists fill the United Center with laughs and cheers.

Well another season and another disappointment, at least for one of the Chicago teams.

While the Blackhawks have continued their hot home-stand (4-0 prior to the Circus Trip) with three straight victories on the road, the Bulls have been a different story.

After handling up on a lackluster Sacramento Kings team in their first game of the road trip, the Bulls have dropped three straight to the Lakers, Nuggets, and Trailblazers.

Not only have they been losing, but they've consistently showed that they can't play a full four quarters on the west coast.

They were able to stay with the Lakers for about 20 minutes until the reigning NBA champs took over and won 108-93 in a second half that was only made closer by a garbage-time run by the Bulls.

In Denver, they actually held a fairly large lead throughout most of the first half, including twice where they ran their lead to 14. Then after playing a very competitive back-and-forth third quarter, they fell apart, getting outscored 37-22 en route to a 112-93 final.

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So after playing two full quarters and three full quarters, it seemed as if the Bulls were ready for a full game.

Too bad their next opponent, Portland, beat them by an average of 28 points in their two games last season.

Well new season but same result.

Again, the Bulls kept it fairly close throughout the first three quarters (trailed by eight at the end of three), but yet again, the home team pulled away in the fourth to hand them their worst loss of the trip 122-98.

As we've seen in the past it's tough for teams to leave home for six games and still come out with a .500 record.

And in the Bulls case, even a 2-4 record on the circus trip wouldn't have been a total disappointment.

But now even that record may be a struggle.

Next up are the Utah Jazz who at 7-6 aren't the West Coast power that they've been in recent years, but Energy Solutions Arena is still one of the toughest places to play in the league.

Then the Bulls will finally end their trip against an upstart Milwaukee Bucks team and leading Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Brandon Jennings (at least in my opinion).

And the Bucks have already shown that they can play with the Bulls, giving them a hard time at the United Center earlier this month.

So whether the Bulls 1-6 roadtrip can turn into 2-4 or even 3-3 may depend on whether or not they're up for playing a full 48.


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