While the Chicago Bulls will be without Luol Deng and Derrick Rose for Monday's Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat, Rose hasn't ruled out a return at some point in the series.
The Bulls star, who hasn't played at all this season, told reporters that his status is "still up in the air. I might have a chance."
Rose has been participating in 5-on-5 scrimmages since Feb. 18 and has been medically cleared to play for two months, but doesn't feel ready for game action.
"It's definitely hard, but I know that this will be over with pretty soon," Rose said. "Who knows when it's going to stop, but I can't just get down on myself."
Deng missed the past two games of the Bulls' seven-game series against the Brooklyn Nets with flu and didn't travel with the team to Miami. It's uncertain when he will return.
---Bulls guard Marco Belinelli was fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture during the Bulls 99-93 win over the Nets on Saturday.
---One day after dismissing head coach P.J. Carlesimo, the Brooklyn Nets have already been linked to a strong pursuit of Phil Jackson as their next coach, according to a SI.com report.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov reportedly is seeking a big name, with the 67-year-old Jackson at the top of his wish list. Though Jackson has publicly stated that he doesn't want to coach and prefers a front-office job, Nets GM Billy King said Sunday that he'll reach out to Jackson.
--- Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett may have ankle surgery in the offseason, ESPNBoston.com reported. Garnett might undergo an operation to shave down the bone spurs in his ankles, which is not considered a major procedure, according to the report.
The report also noted that two of Garnett's teammates privately speculated he is considering retirement.
--- New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire said on Monday he expects to return to action for Saturday's Game 3 of the series against the Indiana Pacers, the New York Times reported.
Stoudemire has not played in a game since March 7. Knicks coach Mike Woodson has already said Stoudemire will not play in Game 2 on Tuesday.
---Los Angeles Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks said he was "very confident" Chris Paul would eventually re-sign with the team, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported.
Sacks met with Paul on Saturday during the team's exit interview and believes that he will be back. Paul becomes an unrestricted free agent and is not being able to sign an extension until July 1.
---LeBron James' fourth MVP award was one vote shy of unanimous. The dissenting vote was cast by Boston Globe NBA writer Gary Washburn.
Washburn defended his vote after critics attacked the single non-LeBron vote before knowing who voted for New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
Washburn wrote for the Globe on Monday that he voted for Anthony based on his importance to the Knicks.