The Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic played on national television just a couple of weeks ago, prior to the NBA trade deadline, with the big story being that the best player from one of the team's likely wouldn't be in the lineup when they met this time around. That storyline turned out to be true, but the scribes selected the wrong team.
Dwight Howard wasn't moved at the NBA trade deadline, meaning he's still a member of the Magic, but the Bulls will likely be without reigning MVP Derrick Rose when the two teams take the court on Monday night. Rose is currently being listed as day-to-day due to his lingering injuries, but chances are he'll be in a suit when the game tips off at 8 p.m. as the first of two games scheduled to take place on TNT.
Despite all of the injury woes the Bulls have had to deal with this season, they're still the top team in the league with a 37-10 record -- and, perhaps more impressively, they're 9-4 without Rose in the lineup. It won't be easy for them to keep pace with the Magic, however, as Rose's ability to slice through the defense has been key to beating the Magic in the past.
The Magic have gotten huge contributions from Dwight Howard when they play the Bulls this season considering he's averaging 28.5 points and 16.5 rebounds in two games, but his teammates will have to step up to the plate if Orlando's going to start a winning streak against the Bulls this season.