Two juggernauts will collide in Wednesday night’s best NBA game when Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls (28-8) visit Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs (24-10). They are currently ranked third and fourth, respectively, in Heisler’s Power Rankings.
Finally ending their annual rodeo road trip with an 8-1 record, The Spurs start a seven-game homestand over the next two weeks. They hope to continue a dominant stretch as they have won 12 of their past 13 games.
The Bulls have won 10 of their past 12 contests to tie the Heat for the East’s top seed and play four of their next five games on the road. They are 8-2 against Western Conference teams this season but have a tall task in order as the Spurs are 13-1 at home.
Parker is having one of the best seasons of his career – averaging 19.4 points and 8.1 assists – and will be put to test against arguably the best point guard in the league in Rose, who hit the game-winning shot against New Orleans on Tuesday and is averaging 22.2 points and 7.7 assists.
The teams split their two meetings last season, each winning on their home court. Parker averaged 23.5 points and 5.5 assists and Tim Duncan averaged 15 points and 13.5 rebounds against the Bulls; Rose did the most damage with 37.5 points and six assists.
The Spurs continue to nurse through various injuries as Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal are all game-time decisions. Manu Ginobili continues to sit with a left oblique strain but is practicing.
Bulls guard Richard Hamilton – returning from a groin injury that has plagued him all season – played just under 17 minutes against the Hornets and will be eased back into the rotation as he gets back his conditioning and timing. Hamilton has missed 24 games this season.