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Bulls-Trail Blazers postgame bonus

PORTLAND, Ore. — Not surprisingly, the Bulls were focused on their defensive effort – or lack of any – following a 109-103 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night.

Besides letting LaMarcus Aldridge roam free for a career-high 42 points, the Bulls let the Blazers shoot 51.5 percent from the field for the game.

Here are some additional thoughts about the game from Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and point guard Derrick Rose.

Thibodeau on the defense: “Every aspect of the defense was missing. This is two games in a row where we put ourselves in a bad position because we weren’t guarding. Aldridge basically got whatever he wanted. We weren’t able to take anything away from them, so it was an easy game for them offensively.

“You’re playing with fire, you’re trying to outscore them and that’s not our game. We can’t win like that. We can’t win on the road like that. We have to get back to playing defense. There’s not one aspect of our defense we’re doing well right now.”

Thibodeau of offense being good enough: “I said this the other night: When you’re shooting 47 percent or 49 percent and you’re scoring 100 points, that should be more than enough to win with. Until we correct the defense, we’re not gonna win. The approach of going into these games trying to outscore teams is a recipe for losing. We have to change that.”

Rose on the defense: “When the defense isn’t straight it’s usually lack of effort or miscommunication. We just have to get that together, stay aggressive on both ends, but our defense has to be better. That’s for sure.

“I think our offense is there, but defensively, we’re terrible right now.”

Rose on the approach to defense: “What did they have, 109? That’s terrible. It seemed like we’re just going point-for-point with them, especially in the beginning of the game. That’s where it started and it continued throughout the game. It’s hurting us right now. Lack of communication and not bringing the intensity to the defensive side is killing us.”

Rose on Aldridge scoring on numerous lobs and his defense against Andre Miller: “That’s what we have to stop. I did a terrible job with Miller, getting him to the line, jumping in the air, stupid fouls. But if anything I think we can learn from this. Use this to try and go get the win in the game coming up.”