The Bulls and Heat were perhaps the strongest Eastern Conference title contenders to start the season, but they’ve taken divergent paths, thanks to Derrick Rose‘s injury. The Bulls probably won’t win the title this year, while the Heat appear only to have the Pacers in their way as they try for their fourth straight conference title. Here’s more from Chicago and Miami:
- There were four teams interested in trading for Marquis Teague at the start of the season, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Wolves and Jazz were reportedly two of them, but it’s not clear who the other teams were or if any clubs maintain their interest. The Bulls have hoped that Teague would improve this year, with Kirk Hinrich set to hit free agency.
- Michael Beasley‘s has assumed a “significant” role on the Heat, coach Erik Spoelstra says. It’s Spoelstra’s strongest endorsement of Beasley this year, observes Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald, who examines how the team’s minimum-salary gamble is paying dividends so far. Beasley’s deal remains non-guaranteed.
- The Heat might be able to find a better bargain on the free agent market in the summer, but Chris Bosh‘s slow start has done nothing to affect his value to the Heat this season, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes in his mailbag column.