On Wednesday night, the Chicago Bulls did what they had to do to keep pace with the Toronto Raptors winning 105-92 to hang on for a chance for the number three seed in the Leastern conference. The Toronto Raptors however did not blink either holding on to beat an injury depleted Houston Rockets team 107-103 that was without center Dwight Howard. It looks like it will be an exciting finish that could come down to the last game of the season. But these teams can’t rest on their laurels now that they both are in the playoffs. Other teams are chasing these two teams trying to take their playoff position. For Toronto and Chicago, the playoff positions are yet to be decided. Let’s see how the other possible playoff teams fared.
The New York Knicks roll the Brooklyn Nets 110-81.
It is amazing how there were reports that Phil Jackson couldn’t turn this franchise around. Well, good luck trying to find those guys now. At the time all talk was about Mike Woodson’s “meeting” after the season (also read…dismissal) and Carmelo Anthony’s decision about staying. Boy winning can change subjects with the quickness can’t it? The Knicks have now won 12 of their last 15 games, giving their fans chanting privileges chanting “Brooklyn Sucks” winning 110-81. With the win and the Atlanta Hawks loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Knicks are percentage points ahead of the Hawks for the eight seed. J.R. Smith led the Knicks in scoring (this is not a typo) with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points playing on a sore ankle. If the Knicks shoot like they did against Brooklyn, man teams are going to have issues with this bunch. In the first half, the Knicks hit 24 of 36 shots on the way to a 60 percent shooting night. Whatever shot they missed they got back outrebounding the Nets 41-23 in a dominating performance.
Brooklyn did not have a lot of fight against the Knicks but they saved a lot for the officials though. Joe Johnson who scored 16 points for Brooklyn had a technical foul going into the locker room. Head coach Jason Kidd backed his player up and had one of his own. The Nets did not show up last night and dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Raptors for the Atlantic Division title and the Bulls for the 4th seed. Important loss for the Bulls for playoff positioning for home court in the first round no matter if they pass Toronto or not.
The Charlotte Bobcats close in on the playoffs rolling Philadelphia.
Like you thought the Charlotte Bobcats was going to lose. The Philadelphia 76ers lost relevancy when the stopped their 26 game losing streak. Well they are off to another long streak getting run out of their own gym losing 123-93 to the Bobcats. Al Jefferson had a light workout scoring 25 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Neal who was rescued from the Milwaukee Bucks at the trading deadline is still showing his appreciation adding 15 points off the bench. The Bobcats need three more wins in their last seven to lock up their first playoff berth since 2010. Al Jefferson who is coming off an Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for March, has earned every dime of the contract he signed in the offseason. Last night marked Jefferson’s 23rd 20 point 10 rebound game this season. The playoffs are close to being back in Charlotte and the reason is because of Al Jefferson.
As for the Philadelphia 76ers the only question now is…How many pig-pong balls will they have?
The message for the Chicago Bulls is clear…win. This season is far from over.