We’ll save the “making the playoffs is always a good thing” argument for another time. That argument is getting playoff experience vs. getting your brains beat in by the #1 seed. Helpful or harmful? Next on Dr. Phil…
Today we’ll focus on who will win the 8th seed. The Bulls have been a solid home team this year. Their 20-11 home record is good for 6th in the East. They have 10 remaining home games against 5 roadies, one of those against the lowly Wiz. Not a sure win given the nature of this psycho Bulls team, but worth pointing out. So do the Bulls get in?
Let’s briefly look at the other candidates.
The Bucks are the 8th seed right now. The Bucks get Orlando and Portland at home next. Then they go on the road for 4 straight, including a back-to-back at Orlando and Miami. They come back home to face the Lakers. They play Orlando 3 more times altogether. The Bucks will hope for a high lottery pick and a healthy Andrew Bogut. They are out.
I’ve become a fan of the Bobcats. I dig watching them play and I love the move for Diaw and Bell. But they have 9 remaining road games, including 4 in a row to finish the season. They’ll have to wait for their first ever playoff appearance.
The Nets look to be done. They have lost 4 straight and 7 of their last 10. They have 2 left the Cavs and also play Boston, Orlando and the Lakers. Lawrence Frank may be the longest-tenured coach in the East, but I doubt that will be the case come opening tip in 2009.
The Knicks have to play the Magic 3 more times, 2 of those at Orlando. They have a brutal stretch of 5 road games in 10 days, including 3 in a row at one point. I’d love to see my guy Quentin Richardson play in the postseason — if only to remind me of when DePaul was good — but it isn’t going to happen. Out.
The Pacers have the most ground to gain, but they also have 10 games at home out of their remaining 14. If Danny Granger can get back up to speed quickly they might have a chance. But I doubt it.They just lost to the Raptors by 23 and this quote from Granger may say it all about their playoff hopes: “I played 18 minutes, I thought I had played 32. That’s how it feels but it will come around. It just takes a while to get back into the rhythm.” They don’t have a while.
So Chicago, get ready for your Chicago Bulls to get smoked by the Cavs in round 1 of the playoffs!