LOS ANGELES — In what has been a relatively positive stretch for the team, Monday night was a dud, but their chances to keep playing after the regular season remain strong.
Despite a 124-112 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles, the Bulls still hold a cushion for the tenth and final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference with seven games to go.
As of Tuesday morning, the team is three games ahead of the Wizards, who currently are out of the playoff picture in 11th place. The Pacers sit a half-game behind Washington as both of those squad’s chances to make the play-in tournament have dimmed.
A 10-6 record after the All-Star break has helped the Bulls’ cause as they make their way through a very inconsistent season where they’ve failed to get to the .500 mark since the opening weeks of the season.
Billy Donovan’s team still has a chance to climb a bit in the standings as they finish out the final seven games between now and their April 9 finale against the Pistons at the United Center. At the moment, they’re currently a game behind the Hawks (8th place) and the Raptors (9th place), which could help the team’s odds of advancing in the play-in tournament.
The Heat and the Nets are currently tied for sixth, four games ahead of the Bulls in the standings, with the team that comes out on top avoiding the play-in altogether.
While catching them could be difficult with only seven games remaining, moving up past the Hawks, Raptors, or both spots would certainly help the Bulls. With the eighth seed, the team would still have a game to lose before facing elimination while a ninth seed would allow them to host the tenth seed in what would be a “win or go home” contest.
The Bulls will host the Lakers at the United Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before traveling to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Friday. On Sunday, the Grizzlies come to Chicago for a 2:30 p.m. matinee at the United Center, with the team creeping closer to playing more basketball after the regular season is over.