Trail Blazers vs. Bulls preview: Basketball, played by professionals

USA TODAY Sports

Adults are playing basketball in Chicago tonight.

It was officially amateur hour in the sports world when the clock struck Thursday, but there will still be professionals playing basketball tonight, at least if you consider the defense of J.J. Hickson and the all-around being of Nate Robinson to be of professional quality. The Bulls are in action against the Portland Trail Blazers, and, word to the wise, Derrick Rose is "most likely out". That hug to Reggie and wink into the camera will have to wait another day. Or year. Our lives are so sad.

The Rose drama continues to hang over everything with the Bulls, and we've officially hit the point of desperation. There is no new information to be had -- even when Derrick spoke with media on the West Coast last week, there wasn't even a hint at an illuminating piece of information. "Only God knows," said Rose of his return, which is hilarious. Oh well. There are still games on the schedule to be played before this season can mercifully rest. A home game against an inconsistent Blazers team should offer the Bulls a chance to pick up a victory before looming meetings with the Pacers and the Heat.

The Blazers have tumbled down the Western Conference standings of late and now sit in 11th place, four games behind the No. 8 Lakers. They are dead and finished. The numbers show the Blazers to be what they are -- a potent offensive squad that couldn't defend Bucknell or LIU-Brooklyn. Portland is No. 11 in offensive efficiency and No. 24 in defensive efficiency. Hickson is apparently is the bane of the fanbase's existence, at last if you follow Sean Highkin on Twitter. They have the probable Rookie of the Year in point guard Damian Lillard, a borderline All-Star big man in LaMarcus Aldridge, an athletic wing in Nicolas Batum and some decent long range shooting in the form of Wesley Matthews. Problem is, they have nothing beyond that.

Portland's second unit is razor thin, and even a beat up Bulls team should have an advantage on bench. Maybe Meyers Leonard will dunk on Nazr Mohammed's old ass, but that would actually be a lot of fun.

It feels like ages since the Bulls lost that controversial game against the Nuggets on Monday. Brian Urlacher was still a Bear! How young we all were.

As this season carries on, it feels like you never know what you're going to get from the Bulls. Will it be the exhausted-looking team that got completely drilled by the lowly Kings or the team that valiantly beat the Warriors on the road the following game? It's tough to say with the status of Taj Gibson and (sigh) Kirk Hinrich still in doubt, both of whom are, you guessed it, game-time decisions. Although they did both do shootaround so maybe that's a sign that they will play?

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