NBA Playoff Picture: Bulls' Magic Number To Clinch East Stands At One

The Chicago Bulls’ decisive win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night did more than show the defending Eastern Conference champions they’ll have a tough time in the playoffs against the Bulls should they meet: it moved the Bulls’ magic number to clinch the East’s top playoff seed to one. Any combination of a Bulls win and a Miami Heat loss the rest of the season assures Chicago it will have homecourt advantage through at least the Eastern Conference Finals. Another way of looking at it: the Bulls would need to lose out, and the Heat would need to win out, for the Bulls to finish below no. 1 in the East.

Nobody could have expected the Bulls, who haven’t won a playoff series since 2007, would be this good this soon. Even with the additions of All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer and first-time head coach Tom Thibodeau, most reasonable folks pegged the Bulls as at least a year away from championship contention. But behind Derrick Rose, and the top-notch defense Thibodeau designed, here’s Chicago. Atop the East, and rolling better than ever since Michael Jordan left.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.