Thursday night represents do or die time for both the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets. Both teams have their seasons on the line as they face 3-2 deficits. Things don't exactly look good for either team. Will either survive to see another day?
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m., ESPN
Cavaliers lead the series, 3-2
Despite the fact that Cleveland's Big 3 is down to LeBron James and an injured Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers have been able to grab control of the series, thanks in large part to James. The Bulls are hoping that Pau Gasol can come back this evening and provide a spark for a team that needs whatever help it can get. Chicago has usually done a good job of slowing down James, but have been unable to do so lately, despite the fact that James is playing with a bum ankle.
With a win tonight, Cleveland would return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2009.
Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
The Clippers have looked like the best team in the playoffs lately behind the strong play of Kia Optima-enthusiast Blake Griffin. After dominating the Rockets for the majority of the series without the point god Chris Paul, Houston finally showed signs of life in Game 5 in front of their faithful fans. The question remains if they can continue their strong play in California, where the Clippers are 4-2 in the playoffs and have scored 111+ points in each of their last three games in the Staples Center.
Now would be an excellent time for James Harden to remind people why he was a finalist for the MVP award with a performance for the ages.