Crazy Eights: The Implications of Chicago and Indiana’s Last 8 Games


In eight games, the Bulls’ long, rocky, disappointing year has turned from a nightmare into an unlikely dream. Before the Bulls won four straight, three of which against playoff teams, it was looking like their season would end without a playoff birth despite the free agent additions of former champions Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo around All-Star Jimmy Butler.

While Chicago’s got plenty to celebrate, the Pacers are currently reeling. They’re an abysmal 2-6 in their last eight games, including four straight losses.

So let’s clear something up. The eight games are not Chicago’s last eight (their record over their last eight, for those curious enough, is 6-2) but rather Chicago’s last four and Indiana’s last four. The two teams are on complete opposite trajectories.

The Pacers are 0-4 in their last four games, including yesterday’s double-overtime heartbreaking loss to the Cavs. They’re dealing with a plethora of injuries at the most inopportune time;  and despite Paul George’s high level of play, those injuries are taking their toll.

The Bulls have earned their trip to the postseason if they make it, as their last eight have included victories against Cleveland, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Utah.

Right now Chicago sits in the 7th seed, two games back of the 5th-seeded Bucks, and one game ahead of the 9th-place Pacers. What could be the biggest key for their playoff hopes is their schedule for the remainder of the year.

The Bulls have an incredibly favorable schedule. Their last five games are against the Nets (twice), Sixers, Magic, and Knicks, including ending the year with two games at home.

While one of their two losses over the last eight games did come at the hands of the Sixers, it’s hard to imagine the Bulls losing two or more of those last five. Especially with Derrick Rose’s recent meniscus tear, that Knicks game should be an easy win for a team as hot as Chicago.

And just as Chicago is thanking the league for their favorable last two weeks of the season, Indiana is cursing the league for their remaining games. They have play Toronto, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and  – like the Bulls – they play Orlando and Philadelphia.

It seems more likely that the Pacers will lose two or more of their last five than Chicago based on recent play and schedules, much more likely actually.

While nothing is guaranteed, it seems safe to bet on the Bulls returning to the postseason this year thanks to hot play as of late.

About Brandon Wentz

Mayor of the borough of Mt. Carbon, Pennsylvania. Disappointed fan of the Phoenix Suns. Humble narcissist. Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/thebighonch

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