\Why Derrick Rose should play
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
A quick look at the two-game NBA schedule for Thursday, April 11, ranking games by watchability (all times p.m. Eastern):
MUST-WATCH: New York Knicks (51-26) at Chicago Bulls (42-35), 8, TNT
The Knicks are riding a 13-game winning streak, playing their best basketball of the season as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith fill it up. The Bulls entered the week playing about the same as they have all season, with great defense and inconsistent offense. Could there be a better game for Derrick Rose to make his season debut than this one? This would give the Bulls point guard a week of regular-season play to reacclimate himself and a national audience to make a splash for. There’s no reason to think this will happen, though Rose had a pretty impressive dunk off his left leg, the one with the torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, recently in warmups. He has been vague at every turn about whether he will play this season, but taking on the Knicks and exploiting the defenses of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni would make a lot of sense. Rose has always played well against the Knicks; his average of 24.7 points over 13 games against them is his highest against any opponent. If he’s not yet ready, when will he be?
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21) at Golden State Warriors (45-33), 10:30, TNT
These teams would like to avoid a rematch in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Playing each other will help. The Thunder moved into a tie for first because the San Antonio Spurs lost Wednesday. The Warriors remain a game up on the hot Houston Rockets for the No. 6 seed. Still, even two more losses for each team to close the season could pit them in a No. 2 vs. No. 7 matchup.… [For more on Tonight's NBA schedule: Why Derrick Rose should play, click here.]