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NBA Standings 2012: Chicago Sits 3.5 Games Ahead Of Miami

With just seven games left in the abbreviated season, the Chicago Bulls are in pretty good shape in the Eastern Conference standings. Going into Sunday evening's game against the Detroit Pistons, the Bulls are currently 45-14 this season despite losing four of their past ten games.

But with the Miami Heat failing to surge late in the season, the Bulls are still 3.5 games ahead of their biggest competition in the conference. The upstart Indiana Pacers have won eight of their past ten games to lock up a playoff spot with a 38-22 record, but they're still 7.5 games behind Chicago.

At this point, the most important thing for Chicago is to get point guard Derrick Rose healthy. As good as the Bulls play when C.J. Watson and John Lucas are their primary ball handlers, the reigning MVP will be key for the team to play at its highest level.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull, and for more on the Pistons, head over to Detroit Bad Boys. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.