First off, Roche has a quick recap of the top stories stemming from the OT loss to the Pistons. Like Nocioni getting suspended 1 game (didn't I tell him to stay on the floor??) and Skiles getting smacked in the head...
The suspension will hurt in a big game against fellow-contender-for-home-court Washington Wizards. That game got moved to ESPN by the way, more national TV for the new dirtiest team in the NBA :-).
But it's still difficult to talk about playoff prospects and matchups without knowing the future of Eddy Curry. As you may have noticed I haven't really posted anything regarding his health since the whole thing is still pretty much a mystery. At first looked like a couple days of tests, but now it's a couple weeks of tests, and nothing has been given as far as a timetable for his return. There's gonna be time needed to figure out what caused it: was it the weight loss? family history? And even if he does return soon there's the question of his potential weight gain and 'basketball shape' and 'basketball rhythm' that hoops types like to talk about.
A sign that the apocalypse is coming, Jay Mariotti actually is saying what I'm thinking:
You shudder to think a 22-year-old basketball player might not have the chance to fulfill his estimable potential. You wonder about the karma involved when he finally starts figuring out the NBA life, loses 40 pounds, understands the importance of work ethic, gives a damn on the defensive end, helps his team execute an astonishing and unanticipated U-turn -- and shows up for work one day feeling a tug in his chest and lightness in his head. If anyone deserved to be at the United Center, preparing for the postseason against the world champs, it was Curry. But rather than trying to score over Ben Wallace in the paint, he was assuming a different role.
"He's like a lab rat, going through all these tests,'' said Tyson Chandler, his close pal and fellow former Twin Toddler.
Privately I've said that this Curry thing is probably nothing, and the team is just using it's locked-up playoff spot as a way to be extra-cautious. If this were the playoffs, he'd be out there, right?
But it's the kid's heart, so who the hell knows.
All I know is that this team may be winning without him, but it certainly isn't the same. And Mariotti's right, he deserved to enjoy this success the most. I'm sure in the coming days the full prognosis will be reported. Until then I'll hold out hope. But like I'm sure it'll be for his teammates to play without him, Bulls fans won't feel right watching the playoffs without Eddy Curry.