Chicago Bulls (28-18) vs. Atlanta Hawks (26-19)
The Bulls are masters of surviving injuries. At least for this year.
Chicago is playing without Derrick Rose and in the thick of the Eastern Conference race. The Bulls went even further last night, losing by four on the road to the Nets with three starters -- Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose -- out. Luol Deng is still capable of carrying a roster. At least against middling competition.
The Hawks might very well be in that category.
Al Horford and Josh Smith are still very capable of winning games in the middle of the East. Atlanta might be in the throes of trying to trade Smith as the team tries to rebuild its organization on the fly. This is still a good team with Jeff Teague and Horford as the fulcrums.
But you still have Smith, a matchup nightmare even for the relatively bulky Bulls.
That is what should make this game that much more interesting. Both Atlanta and Chicago will play defense and that alway...