Heat Vs. Bulls Preview: Miami Looks To Stay In Contention For Top Spot In The Eastern Conference

CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 15: Dwayne Wade #3 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Keith Bogans #6 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 15 2011 in Chicago Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Can the Heat stay alive for the top seed in the Eastern Conference against a Bulls team dealing with injuries?

The Miami Heat are still in contention for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they will need to defeat the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night to stay in contention for that seed. They may have a chance to do that against a Bulls team that could be missing both reigning MVP Derrick Rose and all-star Luol Deng.

Even without those players, the Heat have struggled against the Bulls this season. Miami lost 106-102 against Chicago on March 14. Rose didn't play in that game, but he did play in the 96-86 overtime victory against Miami on April 12. Rose was ineffective in that game however, scoring only two points on one-of-13 shooting from the field.

The Heat will most likely have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh back in the lineup after they were given the night off on Wednesday to rest. Richard Hamilton will be a player that the Heat will have to key on given that he has scored 22 points in each of the last two games.

The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip off from AmericanAirlines Arena with a national television broadcast on TNT.

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