The Chicago Bulls know they can beat the Miami Heat without Derrick Rose. They might need to do it again without the reigning MVP and their other All-Star.
Regardless of who is in their lineup, the Bulls have a chance to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference if they can avoid a fourth consecutive road loss to the Heat on Thursday night.
Two nights after suffering a surprising 87-84 home loss to Washington without Rose (foot) and Luol Deng (ribs), Chicago (47-15) bounced back minus their All-Star duo to win 100-68 at Charlotte on Wednesday.
That victory came minutes before Miami (44-17) won its fourth straight game, 96-72 over Toronto. The Bulls have a 2 1/2-game lead over the Heat in the East, and a victory Thursday would secure Chicago the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout the conference playoffs since they would hold the tiebreaker should the Heat match their record at season's end.
"You try to put as many things in your favor as possible," coach Tom Thibod...