Oddsmakers have yet to set a line on Wednesday's Chicago-Charlotte matchup. Pick should be considered an early lean.
Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Bobcats (N/A)
Chicago has a pivotal contest against the Miami Heat on Thursday so it
will be interesting to see if ailing point guard Derek Rose (foot) and
forward Luol Deng (rib) will be held out against the lowly Bobcats.
Neither played in the loss to Washington and Rose’s durability is
becoming worrisome to coach Tom Thibodeau with the playoffs looming.
“I’m always concerned,” Thibodeau said. “He’s missed a lot of games. I’m
concerned about that, but also disappointed (overall). We have to play a
The Bulls have committed 38 turnovers over the last two
games and are hanging on to a 2 1/2-game lead over the Heat for best
record in the Eastern Conference.
Oklahoma City at Phoenix Suns (3.5, 207)
The Phoenix Suns have taken advantage of the Houston Rockets’ recent slide to jump into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Winners of seven of the last 10, the Suns have gotten back to their high-scoring ways, averaging 112 points in their victories this month. Another team that doesn’t mind getting out on the run are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are still fighting for the top spot in the West.
If Phoenix is going to hang onto a playoff berth, it won’t be easy. The last five games are against the Thunder, the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs. Fortunately, four of those five are in Phoenix, where the Suns have gone 18-11 (11-2 since the All-Star break).
Phoenix holds the tiebreaker with the Rockets based on a stronger record against conference opponents. The Suns have scored 125 points in each of their last two home games, including a 125-107 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
Phoenix shot a season-high 60 percent in that contest as Steve Nash fought off a sore hip to hand out 13 assists.