Rooting Interests: Hawks Control Destiny for 5th if Heat Win

Sunday, April 14, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks

The Chicago Bulls have owned the Miami Heat in the regular season since LeBron James arrived in South Beach (7-3 against them).  One more win would go a long way in securing the fifth spot in the East for Chicago.standings

The Hawks, meanwhile, are watching today’s action from home.  Having played one more game than most teams in action today, Atlanta gets the benefit of a three-day break.  They’ll no doubt be rooting for the Heat to beat the Bulls.  If the Heat win, the Hawks can get the five seed by winning Tuesday (vs. Toronto) and Wednesday (at New York).  However, a Bulls win would give them the edge with two games remaining.

Another interesting development is taking place a few spots higher in the standings.  The Brooklyn Nets are on fire as of late, while the Indiana Pacers have been fading.  This has put the three seed in question with three games remaining for each team.  Brooklyn has won all three games between the two, meaning should Indiana lose two more and the Nets win out, Brooklyn would actually get the three seed.  Today, Indiana visits New York, and they have a trip to Boston next.  Brooklyn meanwhile is in Toronto today.  It’s still a tall task for the Nets, but should both New York-area team win today, the Nets would be just one back with two to play.  The reason this is so significant is not only because the Hawks’ opponent would be determined by that race, but also because the 3 vs. 6 winner avoids Miami in the second round, while the 4 vs. 5 winner will see the Heat next (assuming Miami gets past the Milwaukee Bucks).

Still a lot to be decided with only four days left in the season!

Teams to root for:  Heat

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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