NBA Matchup: San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls

San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls Thurs. Feb. 17, 2011 8 p.m. EST

This Thursday night marks the last night of competitive basketball in the NBA until after the All-Star break and there are two matchups that are bound to be entertaining to close out the first half of the NBA regular season.

This first matchup on the last day of the first half of the NBA regular season will showcase arguably the best team in the league in the San Antonio Spurs taking on NBA MVP frontrunner Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City. These two teams have surprised a lot of people around the league this season as they have gone from good teams in the East and West to great teams.

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CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 17: Derrick Rose #1 and...

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During the offseason the Spurs were fairly content with their squad even though they have a lot of aging veterans, but the Bulls on the other hand were looking to land a big-name free agent and that they did in former All-Star forward Carlos Boozer. Despite seemingly being fine with being the main man in the paint with the Utah Jazz, Boozer decided it was time for a change and agreed to make the Bulls one of the best frontcourts in the league by playing alongside promising young center Joakim Noah.

Unfortunately, Noah and Boozer have only played nine games together this season as the young center went down with a hand injury earlier in the year, but that hasn’t stop the Chicago Bulls from becoming one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. Not only will Derrick Rose and company head into this matchup with the San Antonio Spurs sporting an impressive 37-16 record, but they are also holding their own in first place in the Central division.

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Tim Duncan  of the San Antonio Spurs

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With a 13-game lead over the second place Indiana Pacers in the Central division, the Chicago Bulls could be on their way to their first division title since the days of Michael Jordan. The Bulls may have been lobbying for LeBron James to come to the Windy City in the offseason, but as long as he isn’t in Cleveland anymore, Chicago stands to benefit more than any other team in the Central.

Even though the Chicago Bulls are an up and coming team in the Eastern Conference and are seemingly playoff bound once again this season, they will have their work cut out for them on Thursday night as they will face off against the San Antonio Spurs who have only loss nine times this season. Along with having the league’s best record at 46-9, Tim Duncan and company are getting a lot of attention as arguably the team to beat in the Western Conference.

The Spurs will almost certainly have trouble trying to contain Derrick Rose on Thursday night as no team in the league has figured out how to successfully guard this lightening quick guard, but with all their offensive threats on the floor, I believe San Antonio should come out with the win in Chicago.

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