Bulls, Pacers grab last 2 spots in NBA playoffs

The Bulls have managed to invent a new way of wasting one of the better talents in the whole National Basketball Association with Jimmy Butler.

The Nets are so unconcerned about Wednesday night's game that they even cancelled their morning shootaround at the last minute.

The Heat? They have to play the playoff bound Wizards. So it should come as no surprise that the Nets are doing that the final game of the season. Jimmy Butler is averaging 23.9 points and 6.2 rebounds while Dwyane Wade is averaging 18.3 points and 3.8 assists. The Celtics have taken four straight from Chicago at TD Garden, both SU and ATS, to end a three-game slide, and largely have dominated the Bulls in four all-time playoff series matchups. They talk about the national television games, how important that is for the brand. A lot of guys were counting us out. But Indiana soon righted the ship and cruised to victory to earn the No. 7 seed. That will surely have to change in the playoffs if the Chicago Bulls want to make this a competitive series and not get swept.

Now it's up to the front office to see how it can improve a team then had an NBA-worst 20-62 record - and has no lottery pick to show for it.

CHICAGO | The media wasn't buying what Brooklyn Nets' coach Kenny Atkinson was selling before Wednesday night's regular-season finale with the Bulls. The Bulls hold the tiebreaker over both the Pacers and Heat. The Heat enter Wednesday on the outside looking in. It's that simple. Miami should be motivated and Washington has nothing to play for (they are locked in as the four seed) so you have to like the Heat's chances here. The Celtics are the sixth different franchise to grab the No. 1 seed in the East in the last six seasons - Chicago did in 2012, followed by Miami, Indiana, Atlanta, Cleveland and now Boston. "Whatever happens, regardless of what happened throughout the season, we are where we want to be right now". Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, meanwhile, put up 24.8 points per contest in the four games while shooting 53.8 percent from the field, 48.4 percent from three. You can't play tight. I thought we got a lot of open looks. That helps. They're fighting for minutes. Rondo's absence has created additional playing time for Jerian Grant, who posted a double-double (17 points and 11 assists) on Monday night against the Orlando Magic.

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"Still gotta win the game", Wade said. The Bulls are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Boston, the home team is 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.

"It sucks", Tyler Johnson said of the Nets' decision to rest Lopez, Lin and Trevor Booker, a key player off their bench.

How long it will be his team is the question, Goodwin is one of six Nets without a guaranteed deal for next season. Washington has not won 50 regular-season games since the 1978-79 season.

Despite a disappointing year, Butler has played his heart out, and on January 2, with the Bulls floundering and in need of a lift, Butler displayed his true all-around game against the equally disappointing Charlotte Hornets.

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