For those keeping track of such things, here is how the postseason contenders could diminish with games Wednesday (April 11).
* Cleveland is eliminated with a loss or a New York victory.
* Detroit is eliminated with a New York victory.
* Golden State is eliminated with a loss.
* Minnesota is eliminated with a loss and victories by both Utah and Phoenix.
Oh, and the Chicago Bulls would clinch the Central Division title with an Indiana loss, in case that matters to anyone. For the record, the Bulls improved their record to an NBA-best 44-14 with a 98-86 victory against the visiting New York Knicks on Tuesday.
They did it without reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, who re-injured his ankle in Sunday’s loss at New York. Richard “Rip” Hamilton had 18 of his team-high 20 points in the third period for the Bulls.
Hamilton sat the entire fourth quarter and logged only 20:35 in playing time.
“We’re pacing my minutes,” Hamilton said. “So we don’t rush into it. We’ve got nine games to go, so we want to take our time with it. I don’t ever want to come off the court. I leave it up to the coaching staff. Me and Thibs [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] are on the same page. Eventually, I’ll play more. I’ll stick with what we have right now.”
Next up for the Bulls is a home game Thursday against the Miami Heat, the team that theoretically stands between the Bulls and a spot in the NBA Finals (assuming Rose returns to near-MVP form/health). Even if the Bulls have the best record in the Eastern Conference with the Heat at No. 2, three games behind the Bulls.
“Miami is the team that beat us last year, the team right behind us,” said Bulls forward Luol Deng, who had a 19-point, 10-rebound effort vs. the Knicks. “So every time we play Miami is a big game for us and them.”
Some of the scene from the Bulls’ victory vs. the Knicks (warning: There is a video of the Matadors included; consider yourself warned!):
A reminder that former golfer and CBS golf analyst Ken Venturi and former St. Pauli Girl Katarina Van Derham are the scheduled guests (not necessarily listed in order of importance and/or appearance to some of us) for “Sports & Torts” with David Spada and Elliott Harris on Thursday (April 12) at noon Chicago time on talkzone.com. Some might think this reminder merely is an excuse to run another photo of Katarina. OK, if that’s a crime, then guilty as charged. The reminder, however, also serves as a device to solicit advertising. For those out there who might want to be part of “Sports & Torts” by running commercials on the show, feel free to contact David Spada at email@example.com. If time permits on the show Thursday, there might even be a brief discussion of Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and what the First Amendment is and how it does not protect Guillen from facing consequences for statements he makes. That is why there is a lawyer (David) in studio, isn’t there?
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