Battle for the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs


        March Madness has come to a screeching halt filled with exciting games and stunning upsets. In the Championship game, the Duke Blue Devils squeaked by Gordon Hayward and the Cinderella Butler Bulldogs. After the NCAA Tournament, the NBA Regular Season winds down and the Playoffs start. After the NBA Champion is crowned, the NBA Draft rolls around before you can even blink an eye. If your team makes the NBA Playoffs, you have a chance at winning the championship, and if you lose and don't make the playoffs, you have a chance at possibly winning the next superstar in the NBA Draft.

        With the 2009-2010 NBA season winding down, all but one spot for the playoffs have been clinched. The 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs. The two teams in contention are the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors. The Bulls currently occupy the 8th seed but, the Raptors are right on their tail. The Raptors play the Pistons Monday April 12th and the Bulls play the Boston Celtics Tuesday April 13th. The final game for each team is on Wednesday the 14th which includes the Raptors taking on the Knicks in Toronto, and the Bulls playing Former Chicago Bulls Superstar Michael Jordan and his Bobcats.

        What a storyline, MJ and his Bobcats who have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, take on his former team the Bulls. The Bulls are currently a full game ahead in the win and loss column on the 9th place Toronto Raptors. The Raptors face a tough task because their star player Chris Bosh has missed the last 3 games with a facial fracture (all 3 games resulting in Toronto losses) and will probably miss the last two games of the regular season. The Bulls face a daunting task taking on the Celtics who currently sit atop the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls final game is in Charlotte who will present a challenge as they are a playoff team. The Bulls hold a 2-1 record over the Bobcats this season. The Bobcats have won 4 of their last 6 games. The Bulls are coming off an extremely tough double overtime loss to the worst team in the league, the New Jersey Nets.

        On the other hand, the Raptors have lost their last 5 games and are currently hurting without Superstar and free-agent to be Chris Bosh.  The Raptors certainly face an easier task than the Bulls do because they have to beat the two non-playoff teams, the Knicks and the Pistons. The Bulls are lead by their young nucleus, Point Guard Derrick Rose, Center Joakim Noah, and Small Forward Loul Deng. The Bulls lack a low post presence and a 2-guard/shooter. The Raptors are usually lead by big man Chris bosh, Point Guard Jose Calderon, and newly acquired Hedo Turkoglu.

        Whoever makes the final spot in the Eastern Conference will have to take on LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. The Winner of the 8th seed will play King James and probably be ousted in the first round. The loser does not make the playoffs but, will be entered into the Draft Lottery for a chance at drafting a possible superstar such as John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors.

By Steven Spector - 4-11-10
Battle for the Eastern Conference Playoffs Part 2