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High Stakes: Charlotte Bobcats vs Chicago Bulls game preview

The Bobcats and Bulls meet in one of many games with playoff implications on Wednesday night. With a little luck they could move up in the standings, but they'll have to go through Chicago and get a little help to do so.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we're here: the last day of the regular season. For a change, this does not mean the end of the Bobcats' season and there is still quite a bit on the line. For each of the teams in the third through seventh seeds (except Brooklyn), tonight's games will be incredibly meaningful. Let's take a look at some possible scenarios as the Bobcats currently sit in seventh and face a first round matchup against the Heat.

  • The Bobcats would be able to move up to the sixth seed with a win and Wizards loss to the Celtics. In this scenario, their opponent would be either the Raptors or Bulls. Let's say the Bobcats beat the Bulls, then they would play the Bulls if the Raptors lost to the Knicks and would get the Raptors if they win their game. In short: if the Bobcats beat the Bulls and Raptors beat the Knicks, they go to Toronto for round one. Yet, should the Raptors lose, Charlotte travels to Chicago for the first round and tonight would be a series preview.
  • If the Wizards win and Bobcats lose, the Wizards get the sixth seed. Same goes for both the Wizards and Bobcats losing and also if they both win. The only way the Bobcats can finish sixth is if they win and Washington loses.
  • Since the Nets lost, the Wizards still stand a chance to jump up to the fifth seed after Brooklyn lost to New York with a win, so they'll be motivated. That means the Raptors, Bulls, Wizards, and Nets will have things to play for, so no one will be resting starters.

That makes tonight's game so critical. Both teams like to play at a more deliberate pace, but are also not strong shooting teams. Al Jefferson will be tasked with working his magic against Joakim Noah, who has certainly done his part to keep the Bulls in contention. Being able to run the offense through Jefferson has been important to their offense. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they're 0-3 against Chicago this season, so that isn't encouraging. Still, tonight is a different night and it's very difficult to beat the same team four times in one season, so we'll have to see what happens. No matter what, Wednesday promises to be an intriguing night of basketball.