Notes: McMillan on Bulls, Rose

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan spoke about tonight’s home game versus the Chicago Bulls following a morning shootaround at the Blazers’ practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.

McMillan said the Blazers’ starting lineup —Steve Blake, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden — should remain the same.

Blazers rookie forwards Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham stayed late, practicing mid-range jump shots.

McMillan on the Bulls:

They’re a scrappy team. They’ve always been a scrappy team with a lot of energy defensively; they do some good things. And offensively, (Derrick) Rose is going to pretty much the guy who’s attacking a lot. But their bigs are really active on the boards; they play with a lot of energy.

On countering the team’s scrappy play and energy:

If we do what we’re supposed to do, we should be OK. It’s not any different than any other team. You’ve got to make sure you focus on the strength of that team. And the strength of that team is Rose getting into the paint and forcing your defense, your bigs to commit, and their bigs pounding you on the boards. So, it’s like any other game. You’ve first got to control the ball and keep the ball out of the paint. And then you’ve got to finish the play with a rebound.

On Blake playing against Rose, and the Blazers defending him:

Last year, we did a good job of taking the ball out of his hands. And it’s not Blake on Rose, it’s us guarding Rose. And where our weak side (defense) is at. So, it’s not one guy guarding this guy by himself. Our weak side gotta be tight, know where he’s at and give help.

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