The past couple of seasons, the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls have been staples at the top of the Eastern Conference. But when the two teams meet for the first time this year on Friday at American Airlines Arena, the game will have a little less luster due to the injury to Bulls' star Derrick Rose.
Miami comes into Friday's game off a thrilling overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. LeBron James should be ready to play despite battling a knee issue. Chicago beat the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, and will likely have Joakim Noah back in the lineup after he missed the Magic game with an illness.
Miami will be back in action on Sunday night when they host the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are just 4-26, but one of those four wins came against the Heat back on Dec. 4.
Orlando has just one game on the docket this weekend, a Saturday night tilt against the New York Knicks at the Amway Center. The Magic have lost seven games in a row, while the Knicks will be coming off a blowout victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Elsewhere in the Southeast Division, the second place Atlanta Hawks take on the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics in a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Washington takes on the Brooklyn Nets Friday before the Miami game on Sunday. Finally, the Charlotte Bobcats face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and the Pistons on Sunday.
Here's the full weekend schedule from SI.com.