Bulls vs. Magic — 7pm on TNT
It’s games like this that will determine how well the Bulls play in the postseason. They were taken to the wire last night but an awful Bucks team playing without Andrew Bogut and are looking to rebound with a stellar performance by one of the top teams in the East.
The big buzz around the game is this could be the last time Dwight Howard plays the United Center as a Magic. The next time Chicago faces Howard he will most likely be in a new uniform and if he ports to the West, it will be the last time until wither the post season or next season they get the big man.
Having Howard leave the Magic is only good things for the Bulls, but it’s a double edged sword. Without Howard, the Magic will flounder into obscurity, there is no doubt about that. Howard is the only thing keeping them afloat.
Want to have Ryan Anderson lead your team with Richard Jefferson and J.J. Reddick?
But if Howard joins an Eastern Conference titan on the rise — say in the Nets or wherever he is decing he wants to play today– it could add a zip to Howard’s game that the Bulls will have to deal with.
Tonight, Howard has no supporting cast worthy of an award. It’s him and his shoulders then the rest of the team. That’s what’s good for the Bulls about having Howard with the Magic. It’s easy to play him because he’s really the only major factor that needs containment.
But with all Howard drama aside, the Bulls are facing the third best team in the Eastern Conference and the fifth best team in the league.
After last night’s debacle that Derrick Rose luckily saved from disaster, the Bulls will want to throw a fiery sucker punch that will show off their muscles and let the NBA know that even if they get into close games, they are still the best team in the East.
Rip Hamilton’s status is still up in the air and he said yesterday not to expect a miracle. But the Bulls are going for their ninth win in a row and are in the middle of their hottest streak all season.
The Magic are a formidable opponent and tonight’s game might be close — but against the 25-15 Magic that’s not that embarrassing.