Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/19/14

What a week of bad omens for Derrick Rose: he will pay the NBA $25k for criticizing the refs after he and the Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks Monday, and who knows what it will cost him in insurance premiums after a Saturn driver rear-ended Rose’s Bentley on a Chicago expressway Tuesday.

You might say, “Get a limo and driver, guy who this year signed player and endorsement contracts worth over $350 million!!” But, the thing about collecting cool cars (he also has owned or still does own this), you like to drive them yourself.

Today, Rose, who was unhurt in the incident, gets to host the Miami Heat, if he plays; a hinky groin makes him a game-time decision. It’s a regular season game, in a lockout-shortened season between the top teams in the Eastern Conference. So, meaningless, and if Rose needs rest–he didn’t practice yesterday or today–he should get it, no questions asked.

But let’s pretend Rose is playing: three of the game’s top stars –LeBron, Dwyane Wade–will share the court, and the history between the players and teams is already rivalry intense. The regular season games between them, as constituted, might be meaningless, but will never be dull–the last four regular season meetings have been decided by 12 points. The Heat lost the regular season series last year, then beat the Bulls in a fascinating Eastern Conference Finals that showed what LeBron could do defensively, specifically on DRose.

The Heat won by four points at home a month and a half ago, as Rose scored 34 and James 35. In the last 23 seconds, Rose missed a pair of free throws and a jumper. The Heat come in two games behind the Bulls for the top EC seed, having played three fewer games (games in hand, for you ballers). They also visit Chicago with a three-game road losing streak and having played consecutive overtime games.

The Bulls may have Luol Deng back tonight, but they’ve won the past two games without him and 10 of their last 11. Rip Hamilton will once again not play, but that’s no big deal (unless you’re paying him, I guess).

The United Center will be electric, as last year’s MVP faces what everyone assumes to be this year’s. Most assume a repeat postseason matchup will go the same way as well, but tonight, both sides will be completely in the moment.

And now, my first try at a babe pic

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