This week's NBA main attraction

BOSTON AT CHICAGO: Thursday at 5 p.m. PDT. TV: TNT

Now the moment Bulls fans have waited for...

After years of bitter rivalries with the Lakers, Pistons, Knicks, 76ers et al., the Celtics are finally getting around to the Bulls.

For you new Bulls fans, imagine Green Bay with Vince Lombardi blowing cigar smoke in George Halas' face.

Unfortunately, their fates have seesawed, as in the '90s when the Celtics dropped so far out of sight, Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson didn't get to beat them and rub their faces in it.

Now the young first-place Bulls step up a level... as the Celtics, hoary with age and experience, try to cling to it.

Sparing the Bulls 350 pounds of trouble, Shaquille O'Neal isn't expected back, but there's enough beef on the hoof headed their way.

— Mark Heisler

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