With two games remaining in the 2012 NBA regular season, the Chicago Bulls have all but mathematically clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year. There is very little, if any, suspense left as the Bulls face the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers to conclude the season, and it would be a surprise if banged up Bulls like Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton even took the floor this week.
Wednesday, April 25: at Indiana Pacers (6:00 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago)
The Pacers and Bulls waged a memorable battle in last year's playoffs, and have split the season series so far in 2012, but Wednesday night's game likely won't live up those previous match ups. With the Bulls assured the one seed and the Pacers locked in as the three, neither team has much, if anything, to play for, and would gain nothing from a typically hard-hitting game. It looked as if a rivalry was budding between the Pacers and Bulls, but with the two teams only able to face each other in the 2012 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Finals, that animosity will have to be put on hold.
Thursday, April 26: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (7:00 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago)
The Cavs once looked like they might challenge for the East's eighth seed, but they fell back to Earth not too soon after that. The Bulls have had no trouble dispatching Cleveland this year, but with Chicago likely looking to get its players as much rest as possible, Kyrie Irving and his crew may be able to finish the year with a victory.