Chicago is reeling from the embarrassing loss by the Blackhawks but all can be healed tonight by the Bulls and they don’t even have to play a minute. The Bulls ca clinch home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second year if the Boston Celtics can beat the Miami Heat tonight inside the TD Garden.
The Bulls caught a huge break on Saturday when the Wizards beat the Heat in Miami increasing the Bulls lead in the East and lowering their magic number. Regardless of a win by the Heat on Sunday, the Bulls magic number is now down to just a half game. A loss by the Heat clinches the East for the Bulls.
Bulls Win Eastern Conference WITH:
- a Win over Indiana/Cleveland, or
- Heat Loss to Boston, or
- Heat Loss to Washington
But all is not win yet. A win by the Heat means that the Bulls would have a 1 1/2 game lead in the East but their magic number would remain at just a half game. Chicago battles the Pacers on Wednesday and a win there clinches the East. But a loss wouldn’t change their magic number, but it would pull the Heat within a full game of the Bulls with one game left.
This is a position the Bulls don’t want to be in. With one game left for each team this would mean a Bulls loss and a Heat win would flip flop the two teams giving the Heat the No. 1 seed and home court and the Bulls would get home court until the Eastern Conference Finals.
This of course is all moot if the Heat lose one more game or the Bulls win one more. The chance that the Bulls lose the No. 1 seed is there but it’s dangerously slim. Not only because the Bulls most likely won’t lose to a Pacers team who isn’t fighting for positioning anymore but they won’t lose to the Cavaliers.
In addition to that, the Celtics may not be chasing the Pacers for the third seed anymore, but the Hawks are on their tails and as bad as the Magic have been as of late, they an still get the Celtics of Boston loses their last two and Orlando wins their last three. On top of Boston’s animalistic ned to win for their own playoff positioning, there is a fierce animosity towards Miami and Boston would like nothing more then to derail their hopes of home court in the East.
Boston right now is lined up to face the Bulls in the second round of the playoffs should Boston beat the Hawks, who would as of the moment be their first round opponent. That could change if Boston drops their last two games as even though the Eastern Conference has all their playoff tickets punched, the positioning aren’t set in stone at all.
But the Bulls are in a great position to solidify their playoff spot tonight and they best part is no one has to play a minute. All eyes will be on Boston tonight and the outcome will greatly determine how the Bulls play their stars — most notably Derrick Rose– down the stretch in their last two games.
Stay tuned to Pippen Ain’t Easy and out Twitter feed all day for updates on the Bulls hunt to win the Eastern Conference.