Two teams without their two big superstars. How crazy is it to think that two teams that could be vying with the Heat for supremacy in the East are both missing their respective leaders on the court? The Bulls are without Derrick Rose, and there’s still no word on when he’s coming back. At this point, wouldn’t it just make sense for him to come back next season at full strength? I am sure the Bulls will take him at whatever percentage they can get now as they try to stay in the playoff picture. They’re six games out of the Central Division lead. They’re only a few games up on eight place overall in the Eastern Conference. Even if the Bulls make the playoffs, will they make much noise?
The Pacers meanwhile had Danny Granger back for five games before the injury bug caught back with him. He’s not missed the past couple of weeks, and could possibly be back in a couple of games. If Granger does come back, there’s no reason to put him in the starting line up for the final few games. And there might be the choice to make about the playoffs. At this point, I feel like he should probably come off the bench. If he can get some scoring going, that would be a boost to the bench as scoring has been a downfall for them. With as well as Paul George and Lance Stephenson have performed in the starting line up, I dont’ think I would mess with that chemistry. You want some consistency heading into the playoffs, and Granger on the second unit would make the most sense.
It’s two teams going in opposite directions as the Pacers make that push towards a division crown. They could really bump up their chances tonight with a win against Chicago, and the season sweep. That hasn’t happened since 2001-2002. I am sure the Bulls won’t go down without a fight, and this could have quite the playoff atmosphere to it. Last time in Chicago, Paul George had his breakout game of the year with 34 points. That might need to happen again for the Pacers to fully put away the Bulls.