If the Bulls beat the Raptors in their head to head matchup, then the Bulls will be tied in the loss column with them. They lose the tie breaker to the Raptors though, so they'll need to finish a game ahead of them in the win column at the end of the day.
Let's update our rest of the way schedules.
|Chicago 35-38||Toronto 35-37||Charlotte 38-34||Miami 40-34|
|@New Jersey||Boston||@New Orleans||@New York|
As you can see, since the last schedule listing, Miami and Charlotte are pulling pretty far out of reach. Miami is definitely out of reach as they don't play a team making a legitimate effort to win the rest of the season.
Charlotte would be similarly out of reach, but since the Bulls play Charlotte twice, they actually could conceivably close the gap though it's unlikely.
Toronto is obviously the team the Bulls are chasing, and to be honest, in a perfect world, the Bulls would knock Toronto out of the playoffs. That would give Bosh incentive to leave in the summer, it would raise the Bulls in his minds eye for knocking him out, and it would make Minnesota get Charlotte's draft choice this year which would mean the Bulls would get their draft pick from them earlier.
The Raptors have 10 games left, of those, five are against teams that are at least decent and trying to win. Of those five games, three are on the road (which means likely losses to me, especially given how the Raptors are playing now). I predict the Raptors finish out the season 6-4 for 41 wins on the year.
The Bulls have nine games left. Of those seven are against teams who will legitimately be trying to win, however, the final two games (Boston and @Charlotte) may turn into laughers if those teams rest players because their seeding is all locked up already. There's a fair chance that this will happen.
Still, the Bulls schedule looks tougher down the stretch than the Raptors. Also, the Bulls will need to finish with one more win than the Raptors with one less game to play. If the Raptors go 6-4 then the Bulls need to go 7-2 to top them. Right now, that's what I predict they'll need to do.
They've gained ground recently, so we'll get some fun reports on the radio tomorrow, and there is reason to be hopeful, but the Raps just got done with a tough stretch of games, and the Bulls just played some easy ones. The tables are about to turn, and it will be tough for the Bulls to hang on.