Sprung: Bulls’ championship hopes hinge on Rose, again

Derrick Rose Bulls sleeves

It’s difficult enough to try to integrate an injured star player at any point during an NBA season. It’s even tougher to ease back a star during the season’s stretch run and adjust during the playoffs. This is the challenge the Chicago Bulls face once again in bringing point guard Derrick Rose back into the fold. Four games into a comeback from his most recent knee injury, the Bulls are very pleased with Rose’s progress and optimistic that they are coming together just in

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Bernucca: Leonard Giving the Spurs a Big Bang

Kawhi Leonard

What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born

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Sprung: Roy Hibbert says acting is harder than playing basketball

roy-hibbert-kind-of-surprised

Indiana’s playoff hopes looked especially dim after a 15-30 start, but a stretch of inspired play in February and March had the team at 30-34 on March 12 after a seven-game winning streak. Paul George was set to come back and it looked like the Pacers were going to be the team no one wanted to draw in the first round. Since then, Indiana has lost eight of 10 including Monday’s crucial 111-106 setback in Brooklyn against the Nets. The Pacers

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Sprung: Patience, Patented Defense Has Pacers in Playoff Picture

PacersPlane

Indiana’s win in New York on Saturday night epitomized the current trajectory of the team’s season. It was a slow and ugly start, but the team persevered through strong defense and playoff-tested experience. The team’s slow and ugly start began actually began nearly eight months earlier, on a sultry Friday July evening in Las Vegas with Paul George’s horrendously gruesome leg injury. The bad luck and misery continued when rotation stalwarts David West, George Hill and C.J. Watson missed the beginning of the season with

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Bernucca: Handicapping the Leastern Conference Turtle Race

hill

We don’t blame you if you haven’t been paying attention to the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The West obviously has been far more interesting. While Golden State looks secure in the top spot, the next six teams are all playing better than .600 basketball and separated by just seven losses. And Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Phoenix – all vying for the eighth and final spot – are within two games of each other. The East? Well, the top

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Tweet of the Day: Thoughts and Prayers With Chris Bosh

chris bosh

Chris Bosh’s season may be slowing to a halt as doctors suspect he may have a pulmonary embolism. Just days after participating in his 10th NBA All-Star weekend, Miami Heat center Chris Bosh is now out indefinitely. Bosh was said to have been suffering some pain over the weekend while on vacation with teammate Dwyane Wade and their families. When the pain continued into the week, he saw team doctors who sent him to the hospital on Wednesday for tests. Initial

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SH Blog: Pacers, George hint at return this year; Jennings tweaks LeBron for free-agency departures

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Is Paul George really out for the season? If the Pacers can make a playoff push in the weak Eastern Conference, it sounds like he might not be. In a video interview on Tuesday, team president Larry Bird did not rule out the star forward’s return this season despite his horrific leg injury suffered last August. “We’ll see where Paul’s at. Still have no idea whether he’s coming back or not, but it seems like every week, he’s getting better and better.

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Bernucca: For Derrick Rose, Image Becoming a Thorny Issue

Derrick Rose

If Derrick Rose wants to sit out games because he doesn’t feel 100 percent healthy, that’s fine. If Rose wants to go to the coaching staff, training staff and management of the Chicago Bulls and develop some sort of maintenance program which allows him to sit out games from time to time, that’s fine, too. In fact, given what the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have done with their aging stars over the last several seasons – and the success that

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