Battle for the 8th Seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs Part 2


        A lot has been decided in just one day. MJ and his Charlotte Bobcats have already clinched the playoffs but, after last night's 10 point road win in New Jersey, (something the Bulls were unable to do) The Bobcats have now clinched the 7th spot in the East. Head Coach Larry Brown and the Bobcats are headed to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history!
        Now on to the battle for the 8th spot in the East. The Raptors played last night in Detroit and came away with a huge victory not only in terms of the score (111-97) but, because now they are only one game back in the loss column and tied in the win column with the Chicago Bulls. Without Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani received some extra playing time. Bargnani Made the most of that extra playing time and scored 33 points. The Raptors dominated on offense dishing out assists on 21 of their first 22 field goals. The team finished with a season-high 37 assists, and made 60 percent of their shots overall. Before today's games on the 13th, the Raptors remain a half game back for the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
        There are only 4 games slated for today, but one of them has huge implications. The Chicago Bulls take on the Boston Celtics at the United Center. Boston is easily the favorite to get the win tonight but, I am sure everyone remembers last year's playoffs when the pesky Bulls and Celtics played one of the most exciting and memorable playoff series ever. The bottom line is that the Bulls need to beat the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year. Chicago must finish a game ahead of the Raptors because the Raptors own the tie breaker over the Bulls. The Raptors hold a 2-1 lead over the Bulls head to head on the season. If the Bulls want to make life easy, they must beat the 50-win Celtics tonight in Chicago. The only factor that may play into the Bulls hands is that the Celtics have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and may choose to rest some of their veterans. The 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference Playoff race could come down to the very last night of the season when Derrick Rose and the Bulls must go into Charlotte and face the Bobcats who are owned by former Bulls legend Michael Jordan.

By Steven Spector - 4-12-10
Battle for the Eastern Conference Playoffs Part 1