The Central Division plays a prominent role in a pair of tonight's most intriguing games, as the Bucks look to keep their postseason hopes alive with a win in Indiana, while the Bulls will aim to lock up the East's number one seed by beating Miami. Before we get to tonight's games, let's check in on the latest out of the Central:
- Jason Maxiell holds a $5MM player option for next season, and is undecided on whether to exercise it, writes Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News. "I want to talk to [Pistons' management], see where everybody's head is at," Maxiell said. "[Exploring free agency] could be the smart thing to do, but Detroit's my home and the security I have with them could be great for next season."
- The jobs of coach Scott Skiles and GM John Hammond could be on the line if the Bucks miss the playoffs, says Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- It doesn't make sense for Larry Bird to leave the Pacers after this season, argues Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star.
- Donald Sloan has turned into a capable backup point guard, according to a piece at FOX Sports Ohio. The report adds that "many seem to think" Sloan has a better chance of earning a spot on next year's Cavaliers roster than Lester Hudson. Based on contract statuses alone, it's hard to argue that point — Cleveland has Sloan under contract for 2012/13 on a non-guaranteed deal, while I believe Hudson's second 10-day deal with the team expired last night.
- Keith Langlois of Pistons.com fielded Pistons-related inquiries in a mailbag.