In what was one of the most embarrassing games of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls secured a playoff berth with a 112-73 win over the Brooklyn Nets. The same Nets who a day earlier announced that almost half their team wasn’t going to play. It was a pathetic game, but begrudgingly the Bulls are in the playoffs and their first round matchup is set.
We can all joke around and say the Cleveland Cavaliers were scared of the Bulls because they didn’t care about the last game of the season and lost to the Toronto Raptors, as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all sat out Wednesday night’s game. With the loss, the Cavaliers enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed and will face the Indiana Pacers, who beat the Atlanta Hawks to lock up the seventh seed. Meanwhile, the Bulls are matched up against the Boston Celtics.
The Bulls were 2-2 against the Celtics in the regular season, winning both home games and losing both road games against Boston. The first three games were close, all decided by seven points or less and there was even some controversy when Marcus Smart was called for a shooting foul on Jimmy Butler in the closing seconds of their game on Feb. 16. Butler knocked down two free throws and the Bulls won 104-103.
And then there was that ugly 100-80 loss in Boston back in March.
I wish I was more excited about the Bulls being in the playoffs, but really how can you be after witnessing them play for 82 games? Maybe we’ll get a Jimmy Butler game where he goes off for 40+ points, or Dwyane Wade goes off once, but other than that I don’t have any expectations for a playoff run.
This doesn’t matter because none of the players from these series are still around, but it’s an interesting fact heading into the playoffs.
Bulls: 3-14 all-time vs Celtics in playoffs (all 3 wins in OT in 2009 1st Round) — it's their worst record vs any opponent
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 13, 2017
The other thing that blows is that Gar Forman and John Paxson can add a playoff appearance as a reason to never change things and continue to not actually be held accountable for their failures. Plus, Jerry Reinsdorf gets more playoff money.
Fans will get fired up, but the Bulls are going to lose in five games and then this miserable season will finally be over.
Yes, it’s that sad and you know it’s true. This franchise is still stuck in basketball hell. The Bulls have six titles, a trip to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed shouldn’t come with a lot of praise.