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Bet on the NBAA herd of Bulls will stampede into American Airlines Arena tonight to face the Heat in Miami. The tip off is scheduled for 8:00ET and can be seen on TV nationally, as game one of the TNT Thursday night doubleheader.

The stampede could be a little bit lighter than usual for Chicago however, as Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, their two best overall performers will be game time decisions as to their playing status. Rose has now missed 22 games with a variety of ailments, the last one being his ankle. Deng has battled a wrist issue which will eventually require surgery but he has decided to play through it this year.

The availability of the two all stars will go a long way in determining not only this games outcome, but of the overall playoff picture as Chicago leads Miami by 2.5 games for the best record in the NBA and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

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The Bulls are coming off an easy victory against Charlotte, owned by a certain former Bulls all star who's initials are MJ, last night 100-68. Even without Rose and Deng, the terrible Hornets, who have now dropped 18 straight, were no match for Chicago. Rip Hamilton seems to be finding his groove and led the Bulls with 22 points and 6 assists. Backup center Omar Asik grabbed 15 boards.

Miami was shorthanded, themselves in their 96-72 victory against Toronto in South Beach last night, but that was by design. They chose to give Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh the night off in anticipation of tonights big game against the Bulls.

LeBron James must have felt like he was back in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform without the other big two around to help him, but he performed as he had during those times as well, leading all scorers with 28 points.

The Bulls have lost to the Heat the last three times they played in Miami. Chicago won both contest at home against them including one, just last week. The Heat are a 3.5 point home favorites on a $110/$100 moneyline. The same moneyline exists for the over/under of 188.

 

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