Looking ahead in the NBA: Chicago at San Antonio on Wednesday

Looking ahead

CHICAGO AT SAN ANTONIO: Wednesday at 6 p.m. PST. TV: ESPN.

It would have been laughable to predict this as a possible Finals preview a few weeks ago. Now it appears the joke is on the rest of the Western Conference. The Spurs got Manu Ginobili back following a long injury layoff and won 12 of 13 games (even while losing Ginobili again to a strained oblique muscle) and moved into the top spot in the Southwest Division. Though Chicago's rise to the top of the Central Division was widely expected, the Bulls showed some grit while persevering through Derrick Rose's five-game absence caused by back spasms. Chicago is only a half a game behind Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

— Ben Bolch

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