Guys, it’s happening. The Chicago Bulls actually have a very good chance of making the playoffs this season. Take that as you will but given how the Bulls have played this season, it’s easy to see why many would be shocked by this finish by Chicago. Tonight the Bulls face a very easy scenario in terms of clinching a playoff spot. Win and you’re in. It’s that simple. No matter what happens in any other game, if the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets then they have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Here is a list of all the scenarios where Chicago could finish this season.
The Bulls will be facing the Brooklyn Nets, who still have the worst record in the NBA at 20-61. But they haven’t been playing like the worst team in the league recently. The Nets have had a couple of solid months and have put up some good performances as of late. Heck, they even beat the Bulls the last time these two teams played (which was last Saturday). Chicago blew a nine-point lead in the final six minutes and blew a chance to clinch a playoff spot before the final two games of the season were even played. To make matters worse they were beat by former Bull Spencer Dinwiddie, who many of you remember as playing well in Summer League and even at the beginning of the season. Leave it to a former Bull to come back and haunt his old team by hitting some clutch baskets late in the game.
This game will be entirely different though. Most particularly because the Nets themselves are not even playing their best players. Veterans Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, and Trevor Booker are all out in this game due to rest. With the Nets firmly seated at the bottom (64.3% chance at Top 3 and 25% chance at first overall pick via Tankathon), it makes no sense for Brooklyn to go out and win this game. Especially since its the final one of the season and they are clearly in rebuilding mode. Guard Sean Kilpatrick is out as well with a hamstring injury.
As for Chicago’s injuries, everyone except for Rajon Rondo is healthy and ready to go. He will be a game-time decision in this game with his wrist injury.
Rondo is gametime decision. Did shootaround.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 12, 2017
But as KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune pointed out, with Jerian Grant playing so well (career-high in assists against Orlando) and Chicago likely winning this game, why not just rest Rondo to keep him keep healthy for the playoffs?
The Bulls should easily win this game, especially given that Brooklyn is not even trying to play their starters. Just imagine the chaos if they lose though.
Game Time: 7PM CT, WGN