Few figured the Milwaukee Bucks would be challenging for the Central Division lead. Yet here they are.
The Bucks are 15-12, just a half-game back in the wide-open division entering Thursday night's games. For now, the Central appears to be a three-team race between Chicago, Indiana and Milwaukee.
The Bulls hope to get injured All-Star guard Derrick Rose back early next year while the Pacers would like to get injured star Danny Granger back in February.
That leaves the Bucks with an outside chance of chasing their first division title since 2001.