The NBA Eastern Conference is muddled by injuries right now, as the middle class tries to sort itself out. Three teams—Chicago, Philadelphia and Indiana—have hopes of eventually emerging as the pre-eminent challenger to the Miami Heat by springtime, but all three have their signature player on the bench. TheSportsNotebook will take a brief look at each team so far this season, who’s stepping up, and what the prospects are for their injured stars. 158 days
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