Pardon my cliche, but last week was quite the emotional rollercoaster.
After a troubling loss to the New York Knicks, the Bulls rattled off a normal win against the Washington Wizards before piecing together one of their most promising victories of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers. Then, with momentum built and a chance to claim a rare victory over the Miami Heat, they crumbled faster than a Nature Valley bar (No, despite what the commercial says, you can’t casually eat that while hiking without half the bar falling into millions of pieces).
A sweep by the Heat officially dropped the Bulls into 6th place, but the Raptors and Cavaliers couldn’t capitalize on Sunday night. The Raptors lost a close battle with the Butler-less Heat, while the Cavs couldn’t handle a full 48 minutes against the 76ers. Toronto’s loss put Chicago back into 5th place via the tiebreaker advantage, and the Cleveland situation took the Bulls’ “magic number” all the way down to one.
Indeed, thanks to the Bulls also claiming the tiebreaker advantage over the Cavs, all the team needs is either one more win or one more Cavaliers loss this week to lock in a top-6 seed. Basketball-Reference’s Playoff Probabilities Report has bumped the Bulls’ chances at a top-6 finish all the way up to a 98.2 percent chance. More specifically, they hold a 55.7 percent chance to land the No. 6 seed and a 42.1 percent shot to land the No. 5 seed.
Here is how the Bulls and Cavaliers will finish out the regular season:
4/5 – vs. Bucks
4/6 – vs. Celtics
4/8 – vs. Hornets
4/10 – @ T-Wolves
4/5 – @ Magic
4/8 – @ Nets
4/10 – @ Bucks
All things considered, the Bulls appear well-positioned to finally claim their first playoff series since the 2016-17 season over the next handful of days. The only thing to watch will be whether or not teams like the Nets or Bucks find themselves resting stars; thus, making life that much easier on the Cavs. But, hey, the Bulls will not have to worry about any of that as long as they can simply win one of the next four games! Get it done, guys!